Light-induced excited spin state trapping (LIESST) in iron(II) spin-crossover compounds, i.e., the light-induced population of the high-spin (S=2) state below the thermal transition temperature, was discovered thirty years ago. For irradiation into metal-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) bands of the low-spin (S=0) species the acknowledged sequence takes the system from the initially excited 1MLCT to the high-spin state via the 3MLCT state within ~150 fs, thereby bypassing low-lying ligand-field (LF) states. Nevertheless, these play role, as borne out by the observation of LIESST and reverse-LIESST on irradiation directly into the LF bands for systems with only high-energy MLCT states. Herein we elucidate the ultrafast reverse-LIESST pathway by identifying the lowest energy S=1 LF state as intermediate state with a lifetime of 39 ps for the light-induced high-spin to low-spin conversion on irradiation into the spin-allowed LF transition of the high-spin species in the NIR.
We investigated by optical microscopy the thermal spin transition in single crystals of [Fe(bbtr)3](ClO4)2 (bbtr = 1,4-di(1,2,3-triazol-1-yl) butane). The growth of the low-spin phase was observed for different crystal orientations and sizes. The process always started from a corner of the crystal but its further development depended on the size, shape and thermal history of the crystal. In crystals of smaller size, under isothermal conditions, the low-spin phase developed in a continuous way, through the propagation of a rather well defined transformation front, with a higher propagation velocity inside the planes perpendicular to the c axis. In larger crystals the spontaneous occurrence of inhomogeneous stresses led to a stepwise propagation process.



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Last update Friday December 08 2017