The spin–spin interactions between unpaired electrons in organic (poly)radicals, especially nitroxides, are largely investigated and are of crucial importance for their applications in areas such as organic magnetism, molecular charge transfer, or multiple spin labeling in structural biology. Recently, 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinyloxyl and polymers functionalized with nitroxides have been described as successful redox mediators in several electrochemical applications; however, the study of spin–spin interaction effect in such an area is absent.
This communication reports the preparation of a novel family of discrete polynitroxide molecules, with the same number of radical units but different arrangements to study the effect of intramolecular spin–spin interactions on their electrochemical potential and their use as oxidation redox mediators in a Li–oxygen battery. We find that the intensity of interactions, as measured by the d1/d electron paramagnetic resonance parameter, progressively lowers the reduction potential. This allows us to tune the charging potential of the battery, optimizing its energy efficiency.