The reactions of imidazole groups containing Schiff bases, 1,2-bis[(1-methyl-2-imidazolyl)-methyleneamino]ethane (bmimen) and 1,3-bis[(1-methyl-2-imidazolyl)-methyleneamino]propane (bmimpn), with silver salts AgCF3SO3 and AgClO3 were studied. Five new silver complexes, [Ag2(bmimen)2][CF3SO3]2·CH3OH·CH3CN (1), [Ag2(bmimen)2][CF3SO3]2 ·0.5H2O (2), [Ag2(bmimen)2][ClO3]2·CH3OH (3), [Ag3(bmimen)2(μ-CF3SO3)2]2[CF3SO3]4 (4) and [Ag(bmimpn)]n[CF3SO3]n (5), were synthesized and characterized. The AgAg distances in compounds 1–5 depend on the length of the alkyl chain separating the imidazole ends of the ligand and the coordination mode of the bmimen and bmimpn. The shortest AgAg distance of 2.7842(2) Å was found in 4. Such a short distance indicates a strong argentophilic interaction. Argentophilic interactions exist in each of the dinuclear structures 1–3 (AgAg distances are 3.3348(5), 3.1873(3) and 3.0680(2) Å, respectively). The distance depends on crystal packing, which is determined by the counter ion and solvent molecules in the structure. In polymeric structure 5, the longer alkyl chain between the imidazole end units of the ligand pushes the metal centres further apart, the AgAg separations being 3.6088(4) and 3.5279(4) Å. The results show that imidazole-based Schiff bases can be used to build multinuclear Ag compounds with variable silver–silver interactions.
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