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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Jul 3;135(26):9857-68. doi: 10.1021/ja403753j. Epub 2013 May 22.

Completing the series of +2 ions for the lanthanide elements: synthesis of molecular complexes of Pr2+, Gd2+, Tb2+, and Lu2+.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-2025, USA.


The first examples of crystallographically characterizable complexes of Tb(2+), Pr(2+), Gd(2+), and Lu(2+) have been isolated, which demonstrate that Ln(2+) ions are accessible in soluble molecules for all of the lanthanides except radioactive promethium. The first molecular Tb(2+) complexes have been obtained from the reaction of Cp'3Ln (Cp' = C5H4SiMe3, Ln = rare earth) with potassium in the presence of 18-crown-6 in Et2O at -35 °C under argon: [(18-crown-6)K][Cp'3Tb], {[(18-crown-6)K][Cp'3Tb]}n, and {[K(18-crown-6)]2(μ-Cp')}{Cp'3Tb}. The first complex is analogous to previously isolated Y(2+), Ho(2+), and Er(2+) complexes, the second complex shows an isomeric structural form of these Ln(2+) complexes, and the third complex shows that [(18-crown-6)K](1+) alone is not the only cation that will stabilize these reactive Ln(2+) species, a result that led to further exploration of cation variants. With 2.2.2-cryptand in place of 18-crown-6 in the Cp'3Ln/K reaction, a more stable complex of Tb(2+) was produced as well as more stable Y(2+), Ho(2+), and Er(2+) analogs: [K(2.2.2-cryptand)][Cp'3Ln]. Exploration of this 2.2.2-cryptand-based reaction with the remaining lanthanides for which Ln(2+) had not been observed in molecular species provided crystalline Pr(2+), Gd(2+), and Lu(2+) complexes. These Ln(2+) complexes, [K(2.2.2-cryptand)][Cp'3Ln] (Ln = Y, Pr, Gd, Tb, Ho, Er, Lu), all have similar UV-vis spectra and exhibit Ln-C(Cp') bond distances that are ~0.03 Å longer than those in the Ln(3+) precursors, Cp'3Ln. These data, as well as density functional theory calculations and EPR spectra, suggest that a 4f(n)5d(1) description of the electron configuration in these Ln(2+) ions is more appropriate than 4f(n+1).

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