Multifunctional luminescent magnetic cryocooler in a Gd5Mn2 pyramidal complex
Magnetic cooling is a highly efficient refrigeration technique with the potential of replacing expensive and rare helium-3 in the field of ultra-low temperature cooling. However, the visualization of a cryogen at an extremely low temperature and in a strong magnetic field is challenging, but it is crucial for the precise positioning and in situ thermal probe measurements in potential practical applications. Here, the activation of a red-emissive Mn(II) ion using 3d/4f chemistry produces a luminescent molecule cooler, [Gd5Mn2(LOMe)2(OH)4(Ac)6(MeOH)10Cl2]Cl3·2MeOH (1), with the core of an Mn(II)-anchored heptanuclear [GdIII5MnII2] pyramid. The photoluminescence (PL) of the Mn2+ emission, with a large Stokes shift (λem ∼ 690 nm) from 4T1(4G) → 6A1(6S), shows not only a sensitive temperature sensing property but also reversible mechanoluminescence (ML). More attractively, these findings reveal a considerable magnetocaloric effect (MCE) coupled with a tunable emission window, opening up new opportunities in the multifunctional applications of PL, ML, and the MCE involving red-light sources, thermometers, and stress imaging. In particular, this provides a novel resolution to design visualized PL coolers.