Thermo- and light-triggered reversible interconversion of dysprosium–anthracene complexes and their responsive optical, magnetic and dielectric properties†
Artificial smart materials with switchable multifunctionality are of immense interest owing to their wide application in sensors, displays and memory devices. Lanthanide complexes are promising multifunctional materials integrating optical and magnetic characteristics. However, synergistic manipulation of different physical properties in lanthanide systems is still challenging. Herein we designed and synthesized a mononuclear complex [DyIII(SCN)3(depma)2(4-hpy)2] (1), which incorporates 9-diethylphosphonomethylanthracene (depma) as a photo-active component and 4-hydroxypyridine (4-hpy) as a polar component. This compound shows several unusual features: (a) reversible thermo-responsive phase transition associated with the order–disorder transition of 4-hpy and SCN−, which leads to thermochromic behavior and dielectric anomaly; (b) reversible photo-induced dimerization of anthracene groups, which leads to synergistic switching of luminescence, magnetic and dielectric properties. To our knowledge, compound 1 is the first example of lanthanide complexes that show stimuli-triggered synergistic and reversible switching of luminescence, magnetic and dielectric properties.