Electronic Control of Spin-Crossover Properties in Four-Coordinate Bis(formazanate) Iron(II) Complexes

Francesca Milocco, Folkert De Vries, Imke M.A. Bartels, Remco W.A. Havenith, Jordi Cirera, Serhiy Demeshko, Franc Meyer, Edwin Otten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

The transition between spin states in d-block metal complexes has important ramifications for their structure and reactivity, with applications ranging from information storage materials to understanding catalytic activity of metalloenzymes. Tuning the ligand field (ΔO) by steric and/or electronic effects has provided spin-crossover compounds for several transition metals in the periodic table, but this has mostly been limited to coordinatively saturated metal centers in octahedral ligand environments. Spin-crossover complexes with low coordination numbers are much rarer. Here we report a series of four-coordinate, (pseudo)tetrahedral Fe(II) complexes with formazanate ligands and demonstrate how electronic substituent effects can be used to modulate the thermally induced transition between S = 0 and S = 2 spin states in solution. All six compounds undergo spin-crossover in solution with T1/2 above room temperature (300-368 K). While structural analysis by X-ray crystallography shows that the majority of these compounds are low-spin in the solid state (and remain unchanged upon heating), we find that packing effects can override this preference and give rise to either rigorously high-spin (6) or gradual spin-crossover behavior (5) also in the solid state. Density functional theory calculations are used to delineate the empirical trends in solution spin-crossover thermodynamics. In all cases, the stabilization of the low-spin state is due to the π-acceptor properties of the formazanate ligand, resulting in an "inverted"ligand field, with an approximate "two-over-three"splitting of the d-orbitals and a high degree of metal-ligand covalency due to metal → ligand π-backdonation. The computational data indicate that the electronic nature of the para-substituent has a different influence depending on whether it is present at the C-Ar or N-Ar rings, which is ascribed to the opposing effect on metal-ligand σ- and π-bonding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20170-20181
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume142
Issue number47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25-Nov-2020

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