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  1. A family of Zn 16 Ln(HA) 16 metallacrowns (MCs; Ln = Yb III , Er III , and Nd III ; HA = picoline- (picHA 2− ), pyrazine- (pyzHA 2− ), and quinaldine- (quinHA 2− ) hydroximates) with an ‘encapsulated sandwich’ structure possesses outstanding luminescence properties in the near-infrared (NIR) and suitability for cell imaging. Here, to decipher which parameters affect their functional and photophysical properties and how the nature of the hydroximate ligands can allow their fine tuning, we have completed this Zn 16 Ln(HA) 16 family by synthesizing MCs with two new ligands, naphthyridine- (napHA 2− ) and quinoxaline- (quinoHA 2− ) hydroximates. Zn 16 Ln(napHA) 16 and Zn 16 Ln(quinoHA) 16 exhibit absorption bands extended into the visible range and efficiently sensitize the NIR emissions of Yb III , Er III , and Nd III upon excitation up to 630 nm. The energies of the lowest singlet (S 1 ), triplet (T 1 ) and intra-ligand charge transfer (ILCT) states have been determined. Ln III -centered total ( Q LLn) and intrinsic ( Q LnLn) quantum yields, sensitization efficiencies ( η sens ), observed ( τ obs ) and radiative ( τ rad ) luminescence lifetimes havemore »been recorded and analyzed in the solid state and in CH 3 OH and CD 3 OD solutions for all Zn 16 Ln(HA) 16 . We found that, within the Zn 16 Ln(HA) 16 family, τ rad values are not constant for a particular Ln III . The close in energy positions of T 1 and ILCT states in Zn 16 Ln(picHA) 16 and Zn 16 Ln(quinHA) 16 are preferred for the sensitization of Ln III NIR emission and η sens values reach 100% for Nd III . Finally, the highest values of Q LLn are observed for Zn 16 Ln(quinHA) 16 in the solid state or in CD 3 OD solutions. With these data at hand, we are now capable of creating MCs with desired properties suitable for NIR optical imaging.« less
  2. 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 solidmore »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.« less