Structural, magnetic, redox and theoretical characterization of seven-coordinate first-row transition metal complexes with a macrocyclic ligand containing two benzimidazolyl N-pendant arms†
A structurally new heptadentate derivative of a 15-membered pyridine-based macrocycle containing two benzimidazol-2-yl-methyl N-pendant arms (L = 3,12-bis((1H-benzimidazol-2-yl)methyl)-6,9-dioxa-3,12,18-triazabicyclo[12.3.1]octadeca-1(18),14,16-triene) was synthesized and its complexes with the general formula [M(L)](ClO4)2·1.5CH3NO2 (M = MnII (1), FeII (2), CoII (3) and NiII (4)) were thoroughly investigated. X-ray crystal structures confirmed that all complexes are seven-coordinate with axially compressed pentagonal bipyramidal geometry having the largest distortion for NiII complex 4. FeII, CoII and NiII complexes 2, 3 and 4 show rather large magnetic anisotropy manifested by moderate to high obtained values of the axial zero-field splitting parameter D (7.9, 40.3, and −17.2 cm−1, respectively). Magneto-structural correlation of the FeII, CoII and NiII complexes with L and with previously studied structurally similar ligands revealed a significant impact of the functional group in pendant arms on the magnetic anisotropy especially that of the CoII and NiII complexes and some recommendations concerning the ligand-field design important for anisotropy tuning in future. Furthermore, complex 3 showed field-induced single-molecule magnet behavior described with the Raman (C = 507 K−n s−1 for n = 2.58) relaxation process. The magnetic properties of the studied complexes were supported by theoretical calculations, which very well correspond with the experimental data of magnetic anisotropy. Electrochemical measurements revealed high positive redox potentials for M3+/2+ couples and high negative redox potentials for M2+/+ couples, which indicate the stabilization of the oxidation state +II expected for the σ-donor/π-acceptor ability of benzimidazole functional groups.