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Evaluating the electronic structure of formal Ln II ions in Ln II (C 5 H 4 SiMe 3 ) 3 1− using XANES spectroscopy and DFT calculations


The isolation of [K(2.2.2-cryptand)][Ln(C5H4SiMe3)3], formally containing LnII, for all lanthanides (excluding Pm) was surprising given that +2 oxidation states are typically regarded as inaccessible for most 4f-elements. Herein, X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES), ground-state density functional theory (DFT), and transition dipole moment calculations are used to investigate the possibility that Ln(C5H4SiMe3)31- (Ln = Pr, Nd, Sm, Gd, Tb, Dy, Y, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu) compounds represented molecular LnII complexes. Results from the ground-state DFT calculations were supported by additional calculations that utilized complete-active-space multi-configuration approach with second-order perturbation theoretical correction (CASPT2). Through comparisons with standards, Ln(C5H4SiMe3)31- (Ln = Sm, Tm, Yb, Lu, Y) are determined to contain 4f6 5d0 (SmII), 4f13 5d0 (TmII), 4f14 5d0 (YbII), 4f14 5d1 (LuII), and 4d1 (YII) electronic configurations. Additionally, our results suggest that Ln(C5H4SiMe3)31- (Ln = Pr, Nd, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, and Er) also contain LnII ions, but with 4f n 5d1 configurations (not 4f n+1 5d0). In these 4f n 5d1 complexes, the C3h-symmetric ligand environment provides a highly shielded 5d-orbital of a' symmetry that made the 4f n 5d1 electronic configurations lower in energy than the more typical 4f n+1 5d0 configuration.

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