Design of pure heterodinuclear lanthanoid cryptate complexes†
Heterolanthanide complexes are difficult to synthesize owing to the similar chemistry of the lanthanide ions. Consequently, very few purely heterolanthanide complexes have been synthesized. This is despite the fact that such complexes hold interesting optical and magnetic properties. To fine-tune these properties, it is important that one can choose complexes with any given combination of lanthanides. Herein we report a synthetic procedure which yields pure heterodinuclear lanthanide cryptates LnLn*LX3 (X = NO3− or OTf−) based on the cryptand H3L = N[(CH2)2NCH–R–CHN–(CH2)2]3N (R = m-C6H2OH-2-Me-5). In the synthesis the choice of counter ion and solvent proves crucial in controlling the Ln–Ln* composition. Choosing the optimal solvent and counter ion afford pure heterodinuclear complexes with any given combination of Gd(III)–Lu(III) including Y(III). To demonstrate the versatility of the synthesis all dinuclear combinations of Y(III), Gd(III), Yb(III) and Lu(III) were synthesized resulting in 10 novel complexes of the form LnLn*L(OTf)3 with LnLn* = YbGd 1, YbY 2, YbLu 3, YbYb 4, LuGd 5, LuY 6, LuLu 7, YGd 8, YY 9 and GdGd 10. Through the use of 1H, 13C NMR and mass spectrometry the heterodinuclear nature of YbGd, YbY, YbLu, LuGd, LuY and YGd was confirmed. Crystal structures of LnLn*L(NO3)3 reveal short Ln–Ln distances of ∼3.5 Å. Using SQUID magnetometry the exchange coupling between the lanthanide ions was found to be anti-ferromagnetic for GdGd and YbYb while ferromagnetic for YbGd.