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A new series of gallium( iii )/lanthanide( iii ) metallacrown (MC) complexes ( Ln-1 ) was synthesized by the direct reaction of salicylhydroxamic acid (H 3 shi) with Ga III and Ln III nitrates in a CH 3 OH/pyridine mixture. X-ray single crystal analysis revealed two types of structures depending on whether the nitrate counterion coordinate or not to the Ln III : [LnGa 4 (shi) 4 (H 2 shi) 2 (py) 4 (NO 3 )](py) 2 (Ln = Gd III , Tb III , Dy III , Ho III ) and [LnGa 4 (shi) 4 (H 2 shi) 2 (py) 5 ](NO 3 )(py) (Ln = Er III , Tm III , Yb III ). The representative Tb-1 and Yb-1 MCs consist of a Tb/YbGa 4 core with four [Ga III –N–O] repeating units forming a non-planar ring that coordinates the central Ln III through the oxygen atoms of the four shi 3− groups. Two H 2 shi − groups bridge the Ln III to the Ga III ring ions. The Yb III in Yb-1 is eight-coordinated while the ligation of the nine-coordinated Tb III in Tb-1 is completed by one chelating nitrate ion. Ln-1 complexes in the solid state showed characteristic sharp f–f transitions in the visible (Tb, Dy) and near-infrared (Dy, Ho, Er, Yb) spectral ranges upon excitation into the ligand-centered electronic levels at 350 nm. Observed luminescence lifetimes and absolute quantum yields were collected and discussed. For Yb-1 , luminescence data were also acquired in CH 3 OH and CD 3 OD solutions and a more extensive analysis of photophysical properties was performed. This work demonstrates that while obtaining highly luminescent lanthanide( iii ) MCs via a direct synthesis is feasible, many factors such as molar absorptivities, triplet state energies, non-radiative deactivations through vibronic coupling with overtones of O–H, N–H, and C–H oscillators and crystal packing will strongly contribute to the luminescent properties and should be carefully considered.more » « less