Luminescent complexes of the [M(diimine)(CN)4]2− family (M = Ru, Os), and their polynuclear analogues, are structurally versatile components for preparation of supramolecular assemblies based on interaction of the cyanide groups with other metal ions or metal complexes via direct coordination, hydrogen bonding, or halogen bonding. In addition their environment-dependent photophysical properties (solvatochromism and metallochromism), and the ability of the CN groups to act as reporters for excited state behaviour via time-resolved IR spectroscopy, make these fragments spectroscopically as well as structurally versatile. This Perspective article summarises work from the author's group over the last decade on the structures and photophysical properties of these fascinating complexes and their supramolecular assemblies.
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