Density functional studies on dinuclear {NiIIGdIII} and trinuclear {NiIIGdIIINiII} complexes: Magnetic exchange and magneto-structural maps

Saurabh Kumar Singh, Neeraj Kumar Tibrewal, Gopalan Rajaraman

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128 Scopus citations


Theoretical calculations using density functional methods have been performed on two dinuclear {NiII-GdIII} and two trinuclear {NiII-GdIII-NiII} complexes having two and three μ-OR (R = alkyl or aromatic groups) bridging groups. The different magnetic behaviour, having moderately strong ferromagnetic coupling for complexes having two μ-OR groups and weak ferromagnetic coupling for complexes having three μ-OR groups, observed experimentally is very well reproduced by the calculations. Additionally, computation of overlap integrals MO and NBO analysis reveals a clear increase in antiferromagnetic contribution to the net exchange for three μ-OR bridged {Ni-Gd} dimers and also provides several important clues regarding the mechanism of magnetic coupling. Besides, MO and NBO analysis discloses the role of the empty 5d orbitals of the Gd III ion on the mechanism of magnetic coupling. Magneto-structural correlations for Ni-O-Gd bond angles, Ni-O and Gd-O bond distances, and the Ni-O-Gd-O dihedral angle have been developed and compared with the published experimental {Ni-Gd} structures and their J values indicate that the Ni-O-Gd bond angles play a prominent role in these types of complexes. The computation has then been extended to two trinuclear {NiII-GdIII- NiII} complexes and here both the {Ni-Gd} and the {Ni-Ni} interactions have been computed. Our calculations reveal that, for both structures studied, the two {NiGd} interactions are ferromagnetic and are similar in strength. The {Ni-Ni} interaction is antiferromagnetic in nature and our study reveals that its inclusion in fitting the magnetic data is necessary to obtain a reliable set of spin Hamiltonian parameters. Extensive magneto-structural correlations have been developed for the trinuclear complexes and the observed J trend for the trinuclear complex is similar to that of the dinuclear {Ni-Gd} complex. In addition to the structural parameters discussed above, for trinuclear complexes the twist angle between the two Ni-O-Gd planes is also an important parameter which influences the J values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10897-10906
Number of pages10
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number41
StatePublished - Nov 7 2011
Externally publishedYes


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