Journal of Cluster Science

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 1313–1319 | Cite as

A Family of \(\left\{ {{\text{Ni}}^{\text{II}}_{2} {\text{Ln}}^{\text{III}}_{2} } \right\}\) Butterfly Complexes: Lanthanide Contraction Effect on the Structures Magnetic Properties

  • Hai-Ling Wang
  • Liang-Bing Sheng
  • Hua-Hong ZouEmail author
  • Kai Wang
  • Bo Li
  • Man-Sheng Chen
  • Fu-Pei Liang
Original Paper


Reactions of lanthanide nitrate, nickel nitrate, and polyhydroxyl Schiff-base ligand 2-(((2-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)methylene)amino)-2-(hydroxymethyl)-1,3-propanediol (H4L) gave rise to a family of butterfly heterotetranuclear 3d–4f clusters formulated as [Ln2Ni2(H2L)2(μ3-OCH3)2(CH3CN)2(NO3)4]·2CH3OH·2H2O [Ln = Pr (1), Sm (2), Eu (3), Tb (4), Er (5)]. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD) reveals these complexes crystallize in the monoclinic space group P21/c. Both Ln1 and its symmetric Ln1A are coordinated to nine oxygen atoms and consist of two ligands with the same coordination mode μ3.η1:η2:η1:η2:η1, two nitrate ions and one μ3-OCH3. The five heterotetranuclear \({\text{Ni}}^{\text{II}}_{2} {\text{Ln}}^{\text{III}}_{2}\) complexes display a central planar butterfly topology. The vertices of the body positions of the butterfly are occupied by NiII ions in all five complexes, which have been characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, element analyses, powder X-ray diffraction and thermal gravimetric analyses. The magnetic properties of the complexes have been studied. The results show that complexes 1-3, and 5 exhibit antiferromagnetic exchange between the paramagnetic species, and 4 shows strong ferromagnetic interaction.

Graphical Abstract

We have shown the successful design and assembly of a new family of tetranuclear, dicationic, heterometallic \(\left\{ {{\text{Ni}}^{\text{II}}_{2} {\text{Ln}}^{\text{III}}_{2} } \right\}\) complexes characterized by a butterfly-type topology. The results might be promoting the rational design and synthesis of 3d–4f molecule-base magnets materials with fascinating topologies and magnetic behaviours.


Schiff-base ligand Butterfly heterotetrauclear Magnetic properties Antiferromagnetic Ferromagnetic 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21601038, 51572050, 21401112, 21461004), Guangxi Natural Science Foundation (Nos. 2015GXNSFDA139007 and 2016GXNSFAA380085), and Guangxi Key Laboratory of Electrochemical and Magnetochemical Functional Materials (EMFM20162107).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

10876_2018_1447_MOESM1_ESM.doc (429 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 429 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of Medicinal ResourcesSchool of Chemistry and Pharmacy of Guangxi Normal UniversityGuilinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical EngineeringNanyang Normal UniversityNanyangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Guangxi Key Laboratory of Electrochemical and Magnetochemical Functional Materials, College of Chemistry and BioengineeringGuilin University of TechnologyGuilinPeople’s Republic of China

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