Imidazo[4,5-f]-1,10-phenanthrolines: Versatile ligands for the design of metallomesogens

T. Cardinaels, J. Ramaekers, Peter Nockemann, K. Driesen, K. Van Hecke, L. Van Meervelt, S.B. Lei, S. De Feyter, D. Guillon, B. Donnio, K. Binnemans

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81 Citations (Scopus)


2-Aryl-substituted imidazo[4,5-f]-1,10-phenanthrolines were used as building blocks for metal-containing liquid crystals (metallomesogens). Imidazo[4,5-f]-1,10-phenanthrolines are versatile ligands because they can form stable complexes with various d-block transition metals, including platinum(II) and rhenium(I), as well as with lanthanide(III) and uranyl ions and they can easily be structurally modified by a judicious choice of benzaldehyde precursor. None of the ligands designed for this study were liquid-crystalline. However, mesomorphism could be induced by their coordination to various metallic fragments. The thermal behavior of the metal complexes depended on the metal-to-ligand ratio and the substitution pattern of the coordinating ligands. Complexes with a metal-to-ligand ratio of 1:1 [ML, with M = Pt(II), Re(I)] were not liquid-crystal line. The lanthanide(III) complexes with a metal-to-ligand ratio of 1:2 [ML2 with M = Ln(III)] formed an enantiotropic cubic mesophase or were not liquid-crystalline, depending on the nature of the lanthanide(III) ion and the substitution pattern of the ligands. A 1:3 uranyl complex of the type [ML3](2+) exhibited a hexagonal columnar mesophase over a broad temperature range. Self-assembled monolayers of a europium(III) complex were investigated by scanning tunneling microscopy, which revealed that the complex formed well-ordered structures over long distances at the 1-octanoic acid-graphite interface. The rhenium(I) complexes and the europium(III) complexes with 2-thenoyl-trifluoroacetonate or dibenzoylmethanate and imidazo[4,5-f]-1,10-phenanthroline showed good luminescence properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1291
Number of pages14
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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