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A Strain-Deformation Nexus within Pincer Ligands: Application to the Spin States of Iron(II) Complexes

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journal contribution
posted on 10.09.2018, 00:00 by James N. McPherson, Timothy E. Elton, Stephen B. Colbran
The substitution of a pyrrolide ring for one (or more) pyridyl rings within the ubiquitous terpyridine (tpy, A) scaffold results in more open geometries of the pyridine–pyrrolide chelate ligands. DFT calculations (B3LYP-GD3BJ/6-31G**) demonstrate that the more open geometries of the unbound ligands are mismatched with the “pinched in” geometries required to chelate transition metal ions (e.g., Zn2+). The strain which builds within these ligands (ΔEL(strain)) as they bind transition metal ions can be related to changes in a single geometric parameter: the separation between the two terminal N atoms (ρ). This relationship applies more generally to other three-ringed tridentate pincer ligands, including those with different donor groups. The approach was applied to homoleptic iron­(II) complexes to investigate the contribution of the steric effects operating within the ligands to the different magnetic properties, including spin crossover (SCO) activities, of these systems.