Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.133, No.14, 5338-5345, 2011
Stepwise Neutral-Ionic Phase Transitions in a Covalently Bonded Donor/Acceptor Chain Compound
Neutral (N)-ionic (I) transitions in organic donor (D)/acceptor (A) charge-transfer complexes are intriguing because a 'reservoir of functions' is available. For systematically controlling N-I transitions, tuning the ionization potential of D and the electron affinity of A is extremely important. However, the effect of Coulomb interactions, which likely causes a number of charge-gap states at once in a system bringing about stepwise transitions, is a long-standing mystery. Here, we show definite evidence for stepwise N-I transitions caused by contributions from anisotropic interchain Coulomb interactions in a metalcomplex-based covalently bonded DA chain compound, [Ru-2(2,3,5,6-F4PhCO2)(4)(DMDCNQI)]center dot 2(p-xylene) (1; 2,3,5,6-F4PhCO2- = 2,3,5,6-tetrafluorobenzoate; DMDCNQI = 2,5-dimethyl-N,N'-dicyanoquinonediimine), where the [Ru-2(II,II)(2,3,5,6-F4PhCO2)(4)] moiety has a paddlewheel diruthenium(II,II) motif with a Ru-Ru bond. An intermediate-temperature phase involving self-organized N and I chains was observed in the temperature range between 210 K (= T-2) and 270 K (= T-1) with N phase at T > T-1 and I phase at T < T-2. Accompanying the charge transitions, the spin ground states as well as the ferrimagnetic ordering in the I phase vary. The stepwise feature of the N-I transition with a highly sensitive magnetic response should bring about new dynamical functionalities associated with charge, spin, and lattice.