Molecular and Electronic Structures and Single-Molecule Magnet Behavior of Tris(thioether)–Iron Complexes Containing Redox-Active α‑Diimine Ligands
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Incorporating radical ligands into metal complexes is one of the emerging trends in the design of single-molecule magnets (SMMs). While significant effort has been expended to generate multinuclear transition metal-based SMMs with bridging radical ligands, less attention has been paid to mononuclear transition metal-radical SMMs. Herein, we describe the first α-diiminato radical-containing mononuclear transition metal SMM, namely, [κ2-PhTttBu]Fe(AdNCHCHNAd) (1), and its analogue [κ2-PhTttBu]Fe(CyNCHCHNCy) (2) (PhTttBu = phenyltris(tert-butylthiomethyl)borate, Ad = adamantyl, and Cy = cyclohexyl). 1 and 2 feature nearly identical geometric and electronic structures, as shown by X-ray crystallography and electronic absorption spectroscopy. A more detailed description of the electronic structure of 1 was obtained through EPR and Mössbauer spectroscopies, SQUID magnetometry, and DFT, TD-DFT, and CAS calculations. 1 and 2 are best described as high-spin iron(II) complexes with antiferromagnetically coupled α-diiminato radical ligands. A strong magnetic exchange coupling between the iron(II) ion and the ligand radical was confirmed in 1, with an estimated coupling constant J < -250 cm-1 (J = -657 cm-1, DFT). Calibrated CAS calculations revealed that the ground-state Fe(II)-α-diiminato radical configuration has significant ionic contributions, which are weighted specifically toward the Fe(I)-neutral α-diimine species. Experimental data and theoretical calculations also suggest that 1 possesses an easy-axis anisotropy, with an axial zero-field splitting parameter D in the range from -4 to-1 cm-1. Finally, dynamic magnetic studies show that 1 exhibits slow magnetic relaxation behavior with an energy barrier close to the theoretical maximum, 2|D|. These results demonstrate that incorporating strongly coupled α-diiminato radicals into mononuclear transition metal complexes can be an effective strategy to prepare SMMs.
author list (cited authors)
Wang, P., Saber, M. R., VanNatta, P. E., Yap, G., Popescu, C. V., Scarborough, C. C., ... Riordan, C. G.