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  1. Reaction of [Ni(1,5-cod) 2 ] (30 equiv.) with PEt 3 (46 equiv.) and S 8 (1.9 equiv.) in toluene, followed by heating at 115 °C for 16 h, results in the formation of the atomically precise nanocluster (APNC), [Ni 30 S 16 (PEt 3 ) 11 ] (1), in 14% isolated yield. Complex 1 represents the largest open-shell Ni APNC yet isolated. In the solid state, 1 features a compact “metal-like” core indicative of a high degree of Ni–Ni bonding. Additionally, SQUID magnetometry suggests that 1 possesses a manifold of closely-spaced electronic states near the HOMO–LUMO gap. In situ monitoring by ESI-MS and 31 P{ 1 H} NMR spectroscopy reveal that 1 forms via the intermediacy of smaller APNCs, including [Ni 8 S 5 (PEt 3 ) 7 ] and [Ni 26 S 14 (PEt 3 ) 10 ] (2). The latter APNC was also characterized by X-ray crystallography and features a nearly identical core structure to that found in 1. This work demonstrates that large APNCs with a high degree of metal–metal bonding are isolable for nickel, and not just the noble metals. 
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  2. Reaction of FeBr 2 with 1.5 equiv. of LiNCPh 2 and 2 equiv. of Zn, in THF, results in the formation of the tetrametallic iron ketimide cluster [Fe 4 (NCPh 2 ) 6 ] ( 1 ) in moderate yield. Formally, two Fe centers in 1 are Fe( i ) and two are Fe( ii ); however, Mössbauer spectroscopy and SQUID magnetometry suggests that the [Fe 4 ] 6+ core of 1 exhibits complete valence electron delocalization, with a thermally-persistent spin ground state of S = 7. AC and DC SQUID magnetometry reveals the presence of slow magnetic relaxation in 1 , indicative of single-molecule magnetic (SMM) behaviour with a relaxation barrier of U eff = 29 cm −1 . Remarkably, very little quantum tunnelling or Raman relaxation is observed down to 1.8 K, which leads to an open hysteresis loop and long relaxation times (up to 34 s at 1.8 K and zero field and 440 s at 1.67 kOe). These results suggest that transition metal ketimide clusters represent a promising avenue to create long-lifetime single molecule magnets. 
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  3. Abstract

    Addition of sub‐stoichiometric quantities of PEt3and diphenyl disulfide to a solution of [Ni(1,5‐cod)2] generates a mixture of [Ni3(SPh)4(PEt3)3] (1), unreacted [Ni(1,5‐cod)2], and [(1,5‐cod)Ni(PEt3)2], according to1H and31P{1H} NMR spectroscopic monitoring of the in situ reaction mixture. On standing, complex1converts into [Ni4(S)(Ph)(SPh)3(PEt3)3] (2), via formal addition of a “Ni(0)” equivalent, coupled with a CS oxidative addition step, which simultaneously generates the Ni‐bound phenyl ligand and the μ3‐sulfide ligand. Upon gentle heating, complex2converts into a mixture of [Ni5(S)2(SPh)2(PEt3)5] (3) and [Ni8(S)5(PEt3)7] (4), via further addition of “Ni(0)” equivalents, in combination with a series of C–S oxidative addition and CC reductive elimination steps, which serve to convert thiophenolate ligands into sulfide ligands and biphenyl. The presence of14in the reaction mixture is confirmed by their independent syntheses and subsequent spectroscopic characterization. Overall, this work provides an unprecedented level of detail of the early stages of Ni nanocluster growth and highlights the fundamental reaction steps (i.e., metal atom addition, CS oxidative addition, and CC reductive elimination) that are required to grow an individual cluster.

     
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