The kinetic lability of hexadentate gallium-based tripods is sufficient to ensure thermodynamic self-assembly of luminescent heterodimetallic [GaLn(L3)3]6+ helicates on the hour time scale, where Ln is a trivalent 4f-block cation. The inertness is however large enough for preserving the triple-helical structure when [GaLn(L3)3]6+ is exposed to lanthanide exchange. The connection of a second gallium-based tripod further slows down the exchange processes to such an extent that spectroscopically active [CrErCr(L4)3]9+ can be diluted into closed-shell [GaYGa(L4)3]9+ matrices without metal scrambling. This feature is exploited for pushing molecular-based energy transfer upconversion (ETU) at room temperature.
  • CrIII as an alternative to RuII in metallo-supramolecular chemistry
    D. Zare, B. Doistau, H. Nozary, C. Besnard, L. Guénée, Y. Suffren, A.-L. Pelé, A. Hauser and C. Piguet
    Dalton Transactions, 46 (2017), p8992-9009
    DOI:10.1039/c7dt01747b | unige:95682 | Article HTML | Article PDF | Supporting Info
Compared with divalent ruthenium coordination complexes, which are widely exploited as parts of multi-component photonic devices, optically active trivalent chromium complexes are under-represented in multi-metallic supramolecular architectures performing energy conversion because of the tricky preparation of stable heteroleptic CrIII building blocks. We herein propose a kind of remedy with the synthesis of a novel family of kinetically inert hetereloptic bis-terdentate mononuclear complexes, which can be incorporated into dinuclear rod-like diads as a proof-of-concept. The mechanism and magnitude of intermetallic Cr···Cr communications have been unraveled by a combination of magnetic, photophysical and thermodynamic investigations. Alternated aromatic/alkyne connectors provided by Sonogashira coupling reactions emerge as the most efficient wires for long-distance communication between two chromium centres bridged by Janus-type back-to-back bis-terdentate receptors.
  • Room Temperature Magnetic Switchability Assisted by Hysteretic Valence Tautomerism in a Layered Two Dimensional Manganese-Radical Coordination Framework
    A. Lannes, Y. Suffren, J.B. Tommasino, R. Chiriac, F. Toche, L. Khrouz, F. Molton, C. Duboc, I. Kieffer, J.-L. Hazemann, C. Reber, A. Hauser and D. Luneau
    Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138 (50) (2016), p16493-16501
    DOI:10.1021/jacs.6b10544 | unige:90821 | Abstract | Article HTML | Article PDF | Supporting Info
The manganese-nitronyl-nitroxide two dimensional coordination polymer {[Mn2(NITIm)3]ClO4}n (1) (NITImH = 2-(2-imidazolyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethyl-4,5-dihydro-1H-3-oxide-1-oxyl) undergoes an unusual hysteretic thermoinduced valence tautomeric transition near room temperature, during which the manganese(II) ions are oxidized to manganese(III) and two of the three deprotonated radicals (NITIm-) are reduced to their diamagnetic aminoxyl form (denoted NITImRed2-). Upon cooling, the high-temperature species {[MnII2(NITIm)3]ClO4}n (1HT) turns into the low-temperature species {[MnIII2(NITImRed)2(NITIm)]ClO4}n (1LT) around 274 K, while on heating the process is reversed at about 287 K. This valence tautomeric phenomenon is supported by temperature-dependent magnetic susceptibility measurements, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), crystal structure determination, UV-vis absorption, X-ray absorption (XAS) an emission (XES) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopies in the solid-state.
Considered at the beginning of the 21th century as being incompatible with the presence of closely bound high-energy oscillators, lanthanide-centered superexcitation, which is the raising of an already excited electron to an even higher level by excited-state energy absorption, is therefore a very active topic strictly limited to the statistical doping of low-phonon bulk solids and nanoparticles. We show here that molecular lanthanide-containing coordination complexes may be judiciously tuned to overcome these limitations and to induce near-infrared (NIR)-to-visible (VIS)-light upconversion via the successive absorption of two low-energy photons using linear-optical responses. Whereas single-ion-centered excited-state absorption mechanisms remain difficult to implement in lanthanide complexes, the skillful design of intramolecular intermetallic energy-transfer processes operating in multimetallic architectures is at the origin of the recent programming of erbium-centered molecular upconversion.
  • Discrete polynuclear manganese(II) complexes with thiacalixarene ligands: synthesis, structures and photophysical properties
    Y. Suffren, N. O'Toole, A. Hauser, E. Jeanneau, A. Brioude and C. Desroches
    Dalton Transactions, 44 (17) (2015), p7991-8000
    DOI:10.1039/C5DT00827A | unige:72656 | Abstract | Article HTML | Article PDF | Supporting Info
The synthesis, crystal structure and photophysical properties of the new compound [Mn4(ThiaSO2)2F][K(18-crown-6)], ThiaSO2 = p-tertbutylsulphonylcalix[4]arene, are presented and compared to the ones of [Mn4(ThiaSO2)2F]K. The strong orange luminescence is attributed to the Mn2+ centred 4T1 → 6A1 transition. Its temperature and pressure dependence and quenching by molecular dioxygen are reported. The latter is attributed to energy transfer from the 4T1 state exciting dioxygen to its 1Σ+g state. In the solid state, the quenching is much more efficient in [Mn4(ThiaSO2)2F][K(18-crown-6)] than in [Mn4(ThiaSO2)2F]K. This is attributed to the open pore structure of the former allowing fast diffusion of dioxygen into the crystal lattice.
  • Smaller than a nanoparticle with the design of discrete polynuclear molecular complexes displaying near-infrared to visible upconversion
    D. Zare, Y. Suffren, L. Guénée, S.V. Eliseeva, H. Nozary, L. Aboshyan-Sorgho, S. Petoud, A. Hauser and C. Piguet
    Dalton Transactions, 44 (6) (2015), p2529-2540
    DOI:10.1039/C4DT02336F | unige:46187 | Abstract | Article HTML | Article PDF | Supporting Info
This work shows that the operation of near-infrared to visible light-upconversion in a discrete molecule is not limited to non-linear optical processes, but may result from superexcitation processes using linear optics. The design of nine-coordinate metallic sites made up of neutral N-heterocyclic donor atoms in kinetically inert dinuclear [GaEr(L1)3]6+ and trinuclear [GaErGa(L2)3]9+ helicates leads to [ErN9] chromophores displaying unprecedented dual visible nanosecond Er(4S3/2→4I15/2) and near-infrared microsecond Er(4I13/2→4I15/2) emissive components. Attempts to induce one ion excited-state absorption (ESA) upconversion upon near-infrared excitation of these complexes failed because of the too-faint Er-centred absorption cross sections. The replacement of the trivalent gallium cation with a photophysically-tailored pseudo-octahedral [CrN6] chromophore working as a sensitizer for trivalent erbium in [CrEr(L1)3]6+ improves the near-infrared excitation efficiency, leading to the observation of a weak energy transfer upconversion (ETU). The connection of a second sensitizer in [CrErCr(L2)3]9+ generates a novel mechanism for upconversion, in which the superexcitation process is based on the CrIII-sensitizers. Two successive Cr→Er energy transfer processes (concerted-ETU) compete with a standard Er-centred ETU, and a gain in upconverted luminescence by a factor larger than statistical values is predicted and observed.
  • On the Role of Ligand-Field States for the Photophysical Properties of Ruthenium(II) Polypyridyl Complexes
    Q. Sun, S. Mosquera-Vazquez, Y. Suffren, J. Hankache, N. Amstutz, L.M. Lawson Daku, E. Vauthey and A. Hauser
    Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 282-283 (2015), p87-99
    DOI:10.1016/j.ccr.2014.07.004 | unige:42120 | Abstract | Article HTML | Article PDF
The role of ligand-field states for the photophysical properties of d6 systems has been discussed in a large number of publications over the past decades. Since the seminal paper by Houten and Watts, for instance, the quenching of the 3MLCT luminescence in ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complexes is attributed to the presence of the first excited ligand-field state, namely a component of the 3T1(t2g5eg1) state, at similar energies. If this state lies above the 3MLCT state, the luminescence is quenched via thermal population at elevated temperatures only. If it lies well below, then the luminescence is quenched down to cryogenic temperatures. In this contribution we present transient absorption spectra on non-luminescent ruthenium polypyridyl complexes such as [Ru(m-bpy)3]2+, m-bpy = 6-methyl-2,2’-bipyridine, in acetonitrile at room temperature, which reveal an ultra-rapid depopulation of the 3MLCT state but a much slower ground state recovery. We propose that in this and related complexes the methyl groups force longer metal-ligand bond lengths, thus resulting in a lowering of the ligand-field strength such that the 3dd state drops to below the 3MLCT state, and that furthermore the population of this state from the 3MLCT state occurs faster than its decay to the ground state. In addition we demonstrate that in this complex the luminescence can be switched on by external pressure, which we attribute to a destabilisation of the ligand-field state by the pressure due to its larger molecular volume compared to the ground state as well as the 3MLCT state.
  • Near-Infrared to Visible Light-Upconversion in Molecules: From Dream to Reality
    Y. Suffren, D. Zare, S.V. Eliseeva, L. Guénée, H. Nozary, T. Lathion, L. Aboshyan-Sorgho, S. Petoud, A. Hauser and C. Piguet
    Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117 (51) (2013), p26957-26963
    DOI:10.1021/jp4107519 | unige:34037 | Abstract | Article HTML | Article PDF
Light-upconversion via stepwise energy transfer from a sensitizer to an activator exploits linear optics for converting low-energy infrared or near-infrared incident photons to higher energy emission occurring in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from visible to ultraviolet. Stepwise excitation is restricted to activators possessing intermediate long-lived excited states such as those found for trivalent lanthanide cations dispersed in solid-state matrices. When the activator is embedded in a molecular complex, efficient non-radiative relaxation processes usually reduce excited state lifetimes to such an extent that upconversion becomes too inefficient to be detected under practical excitation intensities. Theoretical considerations suggest that the combination of millisecond timescale sensitizers with a central lanthanide activator located in supramolecular complexes circumvents this bottleneck by creating a novel pathway reminiscent of the energy transfer upconversion mechanism observed in doped solids. Application of this novel concept to chromium/erbium pairs in discrete triple-stranded helicates demonstrates that strong-field trivalent chromium chromophores irradiated with near-infrared photons produce upconverted green erbium-centered emission both in the solid state and in solution.



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