LnDOTA puppeteering: removing the water molecule and imposing tetragonal symmetry

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Complexes of lanthanide(iii) ions (Ln) with tetraazacyclododecane-N,N′,N′′,N′′′-tetraacetate (DOTA) are a benchmark in the field of magnetism due to their well-investigated and sometimes surprising features. Ab initio calculations suggest that the ninth ligand, an axial water molecule, is key in defining the magnetic properties because it breaks the potential C4 symmetry of the resulting complexes. In this paper, we experimentally isolate the role of the water molecule by excluding it from the metal coordination sphere without altering the chemical structure of the ligand. Our complexes are therefore designed to be geometrically tetragonal and strict crystallographic symmetry is achieved by exploiting a combination of solution ionic strength and solid state packing effects. A thorough multitechnique approach has been used to unravel the electronic structure and magnetic anisotropy of the complexes. Moreover, the geometry enhancement allows us to predict, using only one angle obtained from the crystal structure, the ground state composition of all the studied derivatives (Ln = Tb to Yb). Therefore, these systems also provide an excellent platform to test the validity and limitations of the ab initio methods. Our combined experimental and theoretical investigation proves that the water molecule is indeed key in defining the magnetic anisotropy and the slow relaxation of these complexes.

TidsskriftChemical Science
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)113-123
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 12 dec. 2023

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