The Origin of Magnetic Anisotropy and Single-Molecule Magnet Behavior in Chromium(II)-Based Extended Metal Atom Chains
datasetposted on 2020-01-22, 13:40 authored by Andrea Cornia, Anne-Laure Barra, Vladimir Bulicanu, Rodolphe Clérac, Miguel Cortijo, Elizabeth A. Hillard, Rita Galavotti, Alessandro Lunghi, Alessio Nicolini, Mathieu Rouzières, Lorenzo Sorace, Federico Totti
Chromium(II)-based extended metal atom chains have been the focus of considerable discussion regarding their symmetric versus unsymmetric structure and magnetism. We have now investigated four complexes of this class, namely, [Cr3(dpa)4X2] and [Cr5(tpda)4X2] with X = Cl– and SCN– [Hdpa = dipyridin-2-yl-amine; H2tpda = N2,N6-di(pyridin-2-yl)pyridine-2,6-diamine]. By dc/ac magnetic techniques and EPR spectroscopy, we found that all these complexes have easy-axis anisotropies of comparable magnitude in their S = 2 ground state (|D| = 1.5–1.8 cm–1) and behave as single-molecule magnets at low T. Ligand-field and DFT/CASSCF calculations were used to explain the similar magnetic properties of tri- versus pentachromium(II) strings, in spite of their different geometrical preferences and electronic structure. For both X ligands, the ground structure is unsymmetric in the pentachromium(II) species (i.e., with an alternation of long and short Cr–Cr distances) but is symmetric in their shorter congeners. Analysis of the electronic structure using quasi-restricted molecular orbitals (QROs) showed that the four unpaired electrons in Cr5 species are largely localized in four 3d-like QROs centered on the terminal, “isolated” Cr2+ ion. In Cr3 complexes, they occupy four nonbonding combinations of 3d-like orbitals centered only on the two terminal metals. In both cases, then, QRO eigenvalues closely mirror the 3d-level pattern of the terminal ions, whose coordination environment remains quite similar irrespective of chain length. We conclude that the extent of unpaired-electron delocalization has little impact on the magnetic anisotropy of these wire-like molecular species.
X ligandsunpaired-electron delocalization4 X 2dipyridin -2-yl H 2 tpdachain lengthground structureN 6N 2EPR spectroscopy3 d-level patternSCNterminal ionsSingle-Molecule Magnet Behaviormetal atom chains3 d-like QROs3 d-like orbitalsCr 5 speciesterminal metalsCr 5Cr 3DFTunsymmetric structureQRO eigenvalueseasy-axis anisotropiesCr 3 complexescoordination environmentMagnetic Anisotropysingle-molecule magnetsnonbonding combinations