Boron-doped nanographene: Lewis acidity, redox properties, and battery electrode performance†
The preparation of boron-doped nanocarbon scaffolds with well-defined structures is important for the understanding of the impact of boron doping on their properties and behavior at the molecular level. We recently succeeded in the synthesis of a structurally well-defined nanographene molecule, bearing two boron atoms at the central positions. In this study, the characteristic properties and functions of this boron-doped nanographene were investigated in terms of (1) Lewis acidity, (2) redox properties, and (3) electrode performance in a battery. This boron-doped nanographene was susceptible to chemical adsorption with various Lewis bases, resulting in significant changes in the absorption and fluorescence properties, as well as in the conformation of the honeycomb framework. The two-electron reduction of this boron-doped nanographene produced a dianionic species that showed a substantial biradical character with a triplet ground state. A Li battery electrode, composed of a boron-doped nanographene with small peripheral substituents, displayed a stable performance in the 1.5–4.0 V range with a first discharge capacity of 160 mA h g−1. These results provide important insights into the effect of boron doping on nanocarbon compounds.