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Ion Dynamics in Confined Spaces: Sodium Ion Mobility in Icosahedral Container Molecules


  • This work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and the ETH Zurich.


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Cage it: A central PH2 ion (see picture, magenta) is encapsulated within a container of twelve tert-butoxides (red and black) in an icosahedral arrangement. The twelve or thirteen sodium countercations are dynamically disordered over the twenty corners of a regular dodecahedron (blue). The estimated activation barriers for sodium exchange are remarkably low (10–30 kJ mol−1) and in the range of fast Li+ ion conductors.