Anomalous enhancement of proton conductivity for water molecular clusters stabilized in interstitial spaces of porous molecular crystals

Makoto Tadokoro*, Yuki Ohhata, Yuriko Shimazaki, Shin'Ichi Ishimaru, Teppei Yamada, Yuki Nagao, Tomoaki Sugaya, Kyosuke Isoda, Yuta Suzuki, Hiroshi Kitagawa, Hiroshi Matsui

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In an investigation into the proton conductivity of crystallized water clusters confined within low-dimensional nanoporous materials, we have found that water-stable nanoporous crystals are formed by complementary hydrogen bonding between [CoIII(H2bim)3]3+ (H2bim: 2,2′-biimidazole) and TATC3- (1,3,5- tricarboxyl-2,4,6-triazinate); the O atoms in the -COO- groups of TATC3- in the porous outer wall are strongly hydrogen bonded with H2O, forming two types of WMCs (water molecular clusters): a spirocyclic tetramer chain (SCTC) that forms infinite open 1D channels, and an isolated cyclic tetramer (ICT) present in the void space. The ICT is constructed from four H2O molecules as a novel C2-type WMC, which are hydrogen bonded with four-, three-, and two-coordination spheres, respectively. The largest structural fluctuation is observed at elevated temperatures from the two-coordinated H2O molecules, which begin to rapidly and isotropically fluctuate on heating. This behavior can be rationalized by a simple model for the elucidation of pre-melting phenomena, similar to those in ice surfaces as the temperature increases. Moreover, high proton conductivity of SCTCs (ca. 10-5 S cm-1 at 300 K with an activation energy of 0.30 eV) through a proton-hole mechanism was observed for pellet samples using the alternating impedance method. The proton conductivity exhibits a slight enhancement of about 0.1×10-5 S cm-1 at 274 K due to a structural transition upon approaching this temperature that elongates the unit cell along the b-axis. The proton-transfer route can be predicted in WMCs, as O(4) of an H2O molecule at the center of an SCTC shows a motion that rotates the dipole in the b-axis direction, but not the c-axis; the thermal ellipsoids of O(4) based on anisotropic temperature factors obtained by X-ray crystallography reflect a structural fluctuation along the b-axis direction induced by [CoIII(H2bim)3]3+.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13698-13709
    Number of pages12
    JournalChemistry - A European Journal
    Issue number42
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 1


    • hydrogen bonds
    • phase transitions
    • proton conductivity
    • supramolecules
    • water

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Chemistry


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