Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Structural Insights into the Vapochromic Behavior of Pt- and Pd-Based Compounds

Anionic complexes having vapochromic behavior are investigated: [K(H2O)][M(ppy)(CN)2], [K(H2O)][M(bzq)(CN)2], and [Li(H2O)n][Pt(bzq)(CN)2], where ppy = 2-phenylpyridinate, bzq = 7,8-benzoquinolate, and M = Pt(II) or Pd(II). These hydrated potassium/lithium salts exhibit a change in color upon being heated to 380 K, and they transform back into the original color upon absorption of water molecules from the environment. The challenging characterization of their structure in the vapochromic transition has been carried out by combining several experimental techniques, despite the availability of partially ordered and/or impure crystalline material. Room-temperature single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction investigation revealed that [K(H2O)][Pt(ppy)(CN)2] crystallizes in the Pbca space group and is isostructural to [K(H2O)][Pd(ppy)(CN)2]. Variable-temperature powder X-ray diffraction allowed the color transition to be related to changes in the diffraction pattern and the decrease in sample crystallinity. Water loss, monitored by thermogravimetric analysis, occurs in two stages, well separated for potassium Pt compounds and strongly overlapped for potassium Pd compounds. The local structure of potassium compounds was monitored by in situ pair distribution function (PDF) measurements, which highlighted changes in the intermolecular distances due to a rearrangement of the crystal packing upon vapochromic transition. A reaction coordinate describing the structural changes was extracted for each compound by multivariate analysis applied to PDF data. It contributed to the study of the kinetics of the structural changes related to the vapochromic transition, revealing its dependence on the transition metal ion. Instead, the ligand influences the critical temperature, higher for ppy than for bzq, and the inclination of the molecular planes with respect to the unit cell planes, higher for bzq than for ppy. The first stage of water loss triggers a unit cell contraction, determined by the increase in the b axis length and the decrease in the a (for ppy) or c (for bzq) axis lengths. Consequent interplane distance variations and in-plane roto-translations weaken the ?-stacking of the room-temperature structure and modify the distances and angles of Pt(II)/Pd(II) chains. The curve describing the intermolecular Pt(II)/Pd(II) distances as a function of temperature, validated by X-ray absorption spectroscopy, was found to reproduce the coordinate reaction determined by the model-free analysis.

Inorganic chemistry
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Belviso BD, Marin F, Fuertes S, Sicilia V, Rizzi R, Ciriaco F, Cappuccino C, Dooryhee E, Falcicchio , Maini L, Altomare A, Caliandro R