Ultralarge 3d/4f Coordination Wheels: From Carboxylate/Amino Alcohol-Supported {Fe4Ln2} to {Fe18Ln6} Rings

A family of wheel-shaped charge-neutral heterometallic {FeIII4LnIII2}- and {FeIII18MIII6}-type coordination clusters demonstrates the intricate interplay of solvent effects and structure-directing roles of semiflexible bridging ligands. The {Fe4Ln2}-type compounds [Fe4Ln2(O2CCMe3)6­(N3)4(Htea)4]·2­(EtOH), Ln = Dy (1a), Er (1b), Ho (1c); [Fe4Tb2(O2CCMe3)6­(N3)4(Htea)4] (1d); [Fe4Ln2(O2CCMe3)6­(N3)4(Htea)4]·2­(CH2Cl2), Ln = Dy (2a), Er (2b); [Fe4Ln2(O2CCMe3)4­(N3)6(Htea)4]·2­(EtOH)·2­(CH2Cl2), Ln = Dy (3a), Er (3b) and the {Fe18M6}-type compounds [Fe18M6(O2CCHMe2)12­(Htea)18(tea)6(N3)6n(solvent), M = Dy (4, 4a), Gd (5), Tb (6), Ho (7), Sm (8), Eu (9), and Y (10) form in ca. 20–40% yields in direct reaction of trinuclear FeIII pivalate or isobutyrate clusters, lanthanide/yttrium nitrates, and bridging triethanolamine (H3tea) and azide ligands in different solvents: EtOH for the smaller {Fe4Ln2} wheels and MeOH/MeCN or MeOH/EtOH for the larger {Fe18M6} wheels. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction analyses revealed that 13 consist of planar centrosymmetric hexanuclear clusters built from FeIII and LnIII ions linked by an array of bridging carboxylate, azide, and aminopolyalcoholato-based ligands into a cyclic structure with a cavity, and with distinct sets of crystal solvents (2 EtOH per formula unit in 1ac, 2 CH2Cl2 in 2, and 2 EtOH and 2 CH2Cl2 in 3). In 410, the largest 3d/4f wheels currently known, nearly linear Fe3 fragments are joined via mononuclear Ln/Y units by a set of isobutyrates and amino alcohol ligands into virtually planar rings. The magnetic properties of 110 reveal slow magnetization relaxation for {Fe4Tb2} (1d) and slow relaxation for {Fe4Ho2} (1c), {Fe18Dy6} (4), and {Fe18Tb6} (6).