Ferromagnetic coupling and magnetic anisotropy in oxalato-bridged trinuclear chromium(III)-cobalt(II) complexes with aromatic diimine ligands

Julia Vallejo, Isabel Castro, Laura Cañadillas-Delgado, Catalina Ruiz-Pérez, Jesús Ferrando-Soria, Rafael Ruiz-García, Joan Cano, Francesc Lloret, Miguel Julve
Dalton Transactions: An International Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 2010 March 7, 39 (9): 2350-8
Two novel heterotrinuclear chromium(III)-cobalt(II) complexes of formula {[Cr(III)(bpy)(ox)(2)](2)Co(II)(Me(2)bpy)}.2H(2)O (1) and {[Cr(III)(phen)(ox)(2)](2)Co(II)(Me(2)bpy)}.1.5H(2)O (2) [ox = oxalato, bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine, Me(2)bpy = 6,6'-dimethyl-2,2'-bipyridine, and phen = 1,10-phenanthroline] have been synthesized using the "complex-as-ligand/complex-as-metal" strategy. The X-ray crystal structure of 2 consists of neutral oxalato-bridged Cr(III)(2)Co(II) bent entities formed by the coordination of two anionic [Cr(III)(phen)(ox)(2)](-) complexes through one of their oxalato groups toward a cationic cis-[Co(II)(Me(2)bpy)](2+) complex. The three tris(chelated), six-coordinated metal atoms possess alternating propeller chiralities leading thus to a racemic mixture of heterochiral (Lambda,Delta,Lambda)- and (Delta,Lambda,Delta)-Cr(III)Co(II)Cr(III) triads, whereby the two peripheral chromium(III) ions adopt a trigonal distorted trapezoidal bipyramidal geometry and the central high-spin cobalt(II) ion exhibits a compressed rectangular bipyramidal one. The intermolecular pi-pi stacking interactions between the enantiomeric pairs of heterochiral Cr(III)(2)Co(II) entities through the aromatic diimine terminal ligands lead to a unique two-dimensional supramolecular network. Variable temperature (2.0-300 K) magnetic susceptibility and variable-field (0-5.0 T) magnetization measurements for 1 and 2 reveal the presence of weak but non-negligible intermolecular antiferromagnetic interactions [zj = -0.012 (2a) and -0.08 cm(-1) (2b)] between the Cr(III)(2)Co(II) molecules possessing a moderately anisotropic S = 9/2 ground state. This results from the moderately weak intramolecular ferromagnetic coupling [J = +2.43 (1) and +2.34 cm(-1) (2)] between the two peripheral Cr(III) (S(Cr) = 3/2) and the central high-spin Co(II) (S(Co) = 3/2) ions across the oxalato bridge as well as the appreciable single-ion axial magnetic anisotropy of the central high-spin Co(II) (S(Co) = 3/2) ion [D(Co) = -2.29 (1) and -2.15 cm(-1) (2)]. A simple molecular orbital analysis of the exchange interaction in 1 and 2 identifies the sigma- and pi-type pathways involving the d(x(2)-y(2))(Cr)/d(xy)(Co) and d(xz)(Cr)/d(yz)(Co) pairs of orthogonal magnetic orbitals, respectively, as the two main individual contributions responsible for the overall ferromagnetic coupling observed.

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