• High-Spin and Emissive Molecular Materials: Synthesis and Characterization of New Polynuclear Ni(II) Complexes from the Use of Aromatic Schiff Bases as Bridging Ligands

      Perlepe, Panagiota; Department of Chemistry
      The employment of the bridging/chelating Schiff bases, N-salicylidene-4-methyl-o-aminophenol (samphH2) and N-naphthalidene-2-amino-5-chlorobenzoic acid (nacbH2), in nickel cluster chemistry has afforded eight polynuclear Ni(II) complexes with new structural motifs, interesting magnetic and optical properties, and unexpected organic ligand transformations. In the present thesis, Chapter 1 deals with all the fundamental aspects of polynuclear metal complexes, molecular magnetism and optics, while research results are reported in Chapters 2 and 3. In the first project (Chapter 2), I investigated the coordination chemistry of the organic chelating/bridging ligand, N-salicylidene-4-methyl-o-aminophenol (samphH2). The general NiII/tBuCO2-/samphH2 reaction system afforded two new tetranuclear NiII clusters, namely [Ni4(samph)4(EtOH)4] (1) and [Ni4(samph)4(DMF)2] (2), with different structural motifs. Complex 1 possessed a cubane core while in complex 2 the four NiII ions were located at the four vertices of a defective dicubane. The nature of the organic solvent was found to be of pivotal importance, leading to compounds with the same nuclearity, but different structural topologies and magnetic properties. The second project, the results of which are summarized in Chapter 3, included the systematic study of a new optically-active Schiff base ligand, N-naphthalidene-2-amino-5-chlorobenzoic acid (nacbH2), in NiII cluster chemistry. Various reactions between NiX2 (X- = inorganic anions) and nacbH2 were performed under basic conditions to yield six new polynuclear NiII complexes, namely (NHEt3)[Ni12(nacb)12(H2O)4](ClO4) (3), (NHEt3)2[Ni5(nacb)4(L)(LH)2(MeOH)] (4), [Ni5(OH)2(nacb)4(DMF)4] (5), [Ni5(OMe)Cl(nacb)4(MeOH)3(MeCN)] (6), (NHEt3)2[Ni6(OH)2(nacb)6(H2O)4] (7), and [Ni6(nacb)6(H2O)3(MeOH)6] (8). The nature of the solvent, the inorganic anion, X-, and the organic base were all found to be of critical importance, leading to products with different structural topologies and nuclearities (i.e., {Ni5}, {Ni6} and {Ni12}). Magnetic studies on all synthesized complexes revealed an overall ferromagnetic behavior for complexes 4 and 8, with the remaining complexes being dominated by antiferromagnetic exchange interactions. In order to assess the optical efficiency of the organic ligand when bound to the metal centers, photoluminescence studies were performed on all synthesized compounds. Complexes 4 and 5 show strong emission in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Finally, the ligand nacbH2 allowed for some unexpected organic transformations to occur; for instance, the pentanuclear compound 5 comprises both nacb2- groups and a new organic chelate, namely the anion of 5-chloro-2-[(3-hydroxy-4-oxo-1,4-dihydronaphthalen-1-yl)amino]benzoic acid. In the last section of this thesis, an attempt to compare the NiII cluster chemistry of the N-naphthalidene-2-amino-5-chlorobenzoic acid ligand with that of the structurally similar but less bulky, N-salicylidene-2-amino-5-chlorobenzoic acid (sacbH2), was made.