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Iron + Vanadium Share A Magnetic Moment

Inorganic Chemistry: Partial nitrogen-atom transfer provides a new synthetic tool for making single-molecule magnets

by Stephen K. Ritter
September 21, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 37

Chemists studying an iron nitride complex known for its ability to transfer nitrogen atoms to organic substrates have discovered that the complex can also be used to partially transfer nitrogen to another metal complex. Besides adding a new dimension to metal nitride chemistry, the resulting nitride-bridged bimetallic complex can function as a single-molecule magnet (Inorg. Chem. 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.5b01455). Single-molecule magnets, or SMMs, are paramagnetic species that retain their magnetization after being exposed to an applied magnetic field. Although SMMs are stand-alone molecules, they behave like classical bulk magnets. Scientists are interested in SMMs for high-density information storage and quantum computing applications. The researchers led by Jeremy M. Smith of Indiana University and Rodolphe Clérac of the National Center for Scientific Research’s Paul Pascal Research Center at the University of Bordeaux, in France, made the new SMM (shown) by combining an iron(IV) tris(carbene)­borate nitride complex with a vanadium(III) mesityl complex. Structural analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that the partial transfer reaction is a two-electron process resulting in nitrogen bridging iron(II) and vanadium(V) ions.


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