The Exploitation of Versatile Building Blocks for the Self-Assembly of Novel Molecular Magnets

Pilkington, M.; Gross, M.; Franz, P.; Biner, M.; Decurtins, Silvio; Stoeckli-Evans, H.; Neels, A. (2001). The Exploitation of Versatile Building Blocks for the Self-Assembly of Novel Molecular Magnets. Journal of solid state chemistry, 159(2), pp. 262-267. Elsevier 10.1006/jssc.2001.9155

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Using molecular building blocks to self-assemble lattices supporting long-range magnetic order is currently an active area of solid-state chemistry. Consequently, it is the realm of supramolecular chemistry that synthetic chemists are turning to in order to develop techniques for the synthesis of structurally well-defined supramolecular materials. In recent years we have investigated the versatility and usefulness of two classes of molecular building blocks, namely, tris-oxalato transition-metal (M. Pilkington and S. Decurtins, in “Magnetoscience—From Molecules to Materials,” Wiley–VCH, 2000), and octacyanometalate complexes (Pilkington and Decurtins, Chimia 54, 593 (2001)), for applications in the field of molecule-based magnets. Anionic, tris-chelated oxalato building blocks are able to build up two-dimensional honeycomb-layered structural motifs as well as three-dimensional decagon frameworks. The discrimination between the crystallization of the two- or three-dimensional structures relies on the choice of the templating counterions (Decurtins, Chimia 52, 539 (1998); Decurtins et al. Mol. Cryst. Liq. Cryst. 273, 167 (1995); New J. Chem. 117 (1998)). These structural types display a range of ferro, ferri, and antiferromagnetic properties (Pilkington and Decurtins, in “Magnetoscience—From Molecules to Materials”). Octacyanometalate building blocks self-assemble to afford two new classes of cyano-bridged compounds namely, molecular clusters and extended three dimensional networks (J. Larionova et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 39, 1605 (2000); Pilkington et al., in preparation). The molecular cluster with a MnII9MoV6 core has the highest ground state spin value, S=51/2, reported to-date (Larionova et al., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 39, 1605 (2000)). In the high-temperature regime, the magnetic properties are characterized by ferromagnetic intracluster coupling. In the magnetic range below 44 K, the magnetic cluster signature is lost as possibly a bulk behavior starts to emerge. The three-dimensional networks exhibit both paramagnetic and ferromagnetic behavior, since the magnetic properties of these materials directly reflect the electronic configuration of the metal ion incorporated into the octacyanometalate building blocks (Pilkington et al., in preparation). For both the oxalate- and cyanide-bridged materials, we are able to manipulate the magnetic properties of the supramolecular assemblies by tuning the electronic configurations of the metal ions incorporated into the appropriate molecular building blocks (Pilkington and Decurtins, in “Magnetoscience—From Molecules to Materials,” Chimia 54, 593 (2000)).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Decurtins, Silvio


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry








Silvio Decurtins

Date Deposited:

20 May 2015 11:06

Last Modified:

21 May 2015 19:36

Publisher DOI:





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