skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2022

Title: A rare earth metallocene containing a 2,2′-azopyridyl radical anion
Introducing spin onto organic ligands that are coordinated to rare earth metal ions allows direct exchange with metal spin centres. This is particularly relevant for the deeply buried 4f-orbitals of the lanthanide ions that can give rise to unparalleled magnetic properties. For efficacy of exchange coupling, the donor atoms of the radical ligand require high-spin density. Such molecules are extremely rare owing to their reactive nature that renders isolation and purification difficult. Here, we demonstrate that a 2,2′-azopyridyl (abpy) radical ( S = 1/2) bound to the rare earth metal yttrium can be realized. This molecule represents the first rare earth metal complex containing an abpy radical and is unambigously characterized by X-ray crystallography, NMR, UV-Vis-NIR, and IR spectroscopy. In addition, the most stable isotope 89 Y with a natural abundance of 100% and a nuclear spin of ½ allows an in-depth analysis of the yttrium–radical complex via EPR and HYSCORE spectroscopy. Further insight into the electronic ground state of the radical azobispyridine-coordinated metal complex was realized through unrestricted DFT calculations, which suggests that the unpaired spin density of the SOMO is heavily localized on the azo and pyridyl nitrogen atoms. The experimental results are supported by NBO calculations and more » give a comprehensive picture of the spin density of the azopyridyl ancillary ligand. This unexplored azopyridyl radical anion in heavy element chemistry bears crucial implications for the design of molecule-based magnets particularly comprising anisotropic lanthanide ions. « less
; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Chemical Science
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
15219 to 15228
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The discovery of singular organic radical ligands is a formidable challenge due to high reactivity arising from the unpaired electron. Matching radical ligands with metal ions to engender magnetic coupling is crucial for eliciting preeminent physical properties such as conductivity and magnetism that are crucial for future technologies. The metal-radical approach is especially important for the lanthanide ions exhibiting deeply buried 4f-orbitals. The radicals must possess a high spin density on the donor atoms to promote strong coupling. Combining diamagnetic 89 Y ( I = 1/2) with organic radicals allows for invaluable insight into the electronic structure and spin-density distribution.more »This approach is hitherto underutilized, possibly owing to the challenging synthesis and purification of such molecules. Herein, evidence of an unprecedented bisbenzimidazole radical anion (Bbim 3− ˙) along with its metalation in the form of an yttrium complex, [K(crypt-222)][(Cp* 2 Y) 2 (μ-Bbim˙)] is provided. Access of Bbim 3− ˙ was feasible through double-coordination to the Lewis acidic metal ion and subsequent one-electron reduction, which is remarkable as Bbim 2− was explicitly stated to be redox-inactive in closed-shell complexes. Two molecules containing Bbim 2− (1) and Bbim 3− ˙ (2), respectively, were thoroughly investigated by X-ray crystallography, NMR and UV/Vis spectroscopy. Electrochemical studies unfolded a quasi-reversible feature and emphasize the role of the metal centre for the Bbim redox-activity as neither the free ligand nor the Bbim 2− complex led to analogous CV results. Excitingly, a strong delocalization of the electron density through the Bbim 3− ˙ ligand was revealed via temperature-dependent EPR spectroscopy and confirmed through DFT calculations and magnetometry, rendering Bbim 3− ˙ an ideal candidate for single-molecule magnet design.« less
  2. A series of multinuclear metallocenes composed of a t Bu salophen dianion bound to two rare earth metal ions, where each is encased in a bis-pentamethylcyclopentadienyl scaffold, was realized. The isolated molecules (Cp* 2 RE) 2 (μ- t Bu salophen), where RE = Gd (1), Dy (2), and Y (3), constitute the first salophen-bridged metallocene complexes for any metal ion. 1–3 were characterised by X-ray crystallography, cyclic voltammetry, IR, NMR, and UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy. Cyclic voltammograms of 1–3 excitingly exhibit quasi-reversable features attributed to the ( t Bu salophen 2− / t Bu salophen 3− ˙) redox couple. DFT calculations onmore »3 uncovered the highest occupied molecular orbital to be primarily localized on the metallocene and phenolate moieties of the t Bu salophen ligand. Furthermore, the nuclear spin I = ½ for yttrium allowed the collection of 89 Y NMR spectra for 3. Magnetic studies revealed slow magnetic relaxation, placing 2 among dysprosocenium-based single-molecule magnets containing a doubly anionic ligand in the equatorial plane.« less
  3. Lanthanide metallocenophanes are an intriguing class of organometallic complexes that feature rare six-coordinate trigonal prismatic coordination environments of 4f elements with close intramolecular proximity to transition metal ions. Herein, we present a systematic study of the structural and magnetic properties of the ferrocenophanes, [LnFc 3 (THF) 2 Li 2 ] − , of the late trivalent lanthanide ions (Ln = Gd ( 1 ), Ho ( 2 ), Er ( 3 ), Tm ( 4 ), Yb ( 5 ), Lu ( 6 )). One major structural trend within this class of complexes is the increasing diferrocenyl (Fc 2− )more »average twist angle with decreasing ionic radius ( r ion ) of the central Ln ion, resulting in the largest average Fc 2− twist angles for the Lu 3+ compound 6 . Such high sensitivity of the twist angle to changes in r ion is unique to the here presented ferrocenophane complexes and likely due to the large trigonal plane separation enforced by the ligand (>3.2 Å). This geometry also allows the non-Kramers ion Ho 3+ to exhibit slow magnetic relaxation in the absence of applied dc fields, rendering compound 2 a rare example of a Ho-based single-molecule magnet (SMM) with barriers to magnetization reversal ( U ) of 110–131 cm −1 . In contrast, compounds featuring Ln ions with prolate electron density ( 3–5 ) don't show slow magnetization dynamics under the same conditions. The observed trends in magnetic properties of 2–5 are supported by state-of-the-art ab initio calculations. Finally, the magneto-structural relationship of the trigonal prismatic Ho-[1]ferrocenophane motif was further investigated by axial ligand (THF in 2 ) exchange to yield [HoFc 3 (THF*) 2 Li 2 ] − ( 2-THF* ) and [HoFc 3 (py) 2 Li 2 ] − ( 2-py ) motifs. We find that larger average Fc 2− twist angles (in 2-THF* and 2-py as compared to in 2 ) result in faster magnetic relaxation times at a given temperature.« less
  4. Ligand selectivity to specific lanthanide (Ln) ions is key to the separation of rare earth elements from each other. Ligand selectivity can be quantified with relative stability constants (measured experimentally) or relative binding energies (calculated computationally). The relative stability constants of EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) with La 3+ , Eu 3+ , Gd 3+ , and Lu 3+ were predicted from relative binding energies, which were quantified using electronic structure calculations with relativistic effects and based on the molecular structures of Ln–EDTA complexes in solution from density functional theory molecular dynamics simulations. The protonation state of an EDTA amine group wasmore »varied to study pH ∼7 and ∼11 conditions. Further, simulations at 25 °C and 90 °C were performed to elucidate how structures of Ln–EDTA complexes varying with temperature are related to complex stabilities at different pH conditions. Relative stability trends are predicted from computation for varying Ln 3+ ions (La, Eu, Gd, Lu) with a single ligand (EDTA at pH ∼11), as well as for a single Ln 3+ ion (La) with varying ligands (EDTA at pH ∼7 and ∼11). Changing the protonation state of an EDTA amine site significantly changes the solution structure of the Ln–EDTA complex resulting in a reduction of the complex stability. Increased Ln–ligand complex stability is correlated to reduced structural variations in solution upon an increase in temperature.« less
  5. The use of radical bridging ligands to facilitate strong magnetic exchange between paramagnetic metal centers represents a key step toward the realization of single-molecule magnets with high operating temperatures. Moreover, bridging ligands that allow the incorporation of high-anisotropy metal ions are particularly advantageous. Toward these ends, we report the synthesis and detailed characterization of the dinuclear hydroquinone-bridged complexes [(Me 6 tren) 2 MII2(C 6 H 4 O 2 2− )] 2+ (Me 6 tren = tris(2-dimethylaminoethyl)amine; M = Fe, Co, Ni) and their one-electron-oxidized, semiquinone-bridged analogues [(Me 6 tren) 2 MII2(C 6 H 4 O 2 − ˙)] 3+ .more »Single-crystal X-ray diffraction shows that the Me 6 tren ligand restrains the metal centers in a trigonal bipyramidal geometry, and coordination of the bridging hydro- or semiquinone ligand results in a parallel alignment of the three-fold axes. We quantify the p -benzosemiquinone–transition metal magnetic exchange coupling for the first time and find that the nickel( ii ) complex exhibits a substantial J < −600 cm −1 , resulting in a well-isolated S = 3/2 ground state even as high as 300 K. The iron and cobalt complexes feature metal–semiquinone exchange constants of J = −144(1) and −252(2) cm −1 , respectively, which are substantially larger in magnitude than those reported for related bis(bidentate) semiquinoid complexes. Finally, the semiquinone-bridged cobalt and nickel complexes exhibit field-induced slow magnetic relaxation, with relaxation barriers of U eff = 22 and 46 cm −1 , respectively. Remarkably, the Orbach relaxation observed for the Ni complex is in stark contrast to the fast processes that dominate relaxation in related mononuclear Ni II complexes, thus demonstrating that strong magnetic coupling can engender slow magnetic relaxation.« less