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Effect of Ligand Polarization on Asymmetric Structural Formation for Strongly Luminescent Lanthanide Complexes



The effect of ligand polarization on the formation of strongly luminescent lanthanide complexes with asymmetric structures is described for the first time. The lanthanide complexes are composed of EuIII ions, three hexafluoroacetylacetonate (hfa) ligands, and two monodentate phosphine oxide ligands, namely, triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO), p-tolyldiphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO-Me), tri-p-tolylphosphine oxide (TPPO-3Me) or o-phenoxyphenyldiphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO-OPh). The luminescence properties of the EuIII complexes are characterized by their emission quantum yields, emission lifetimes, and their radiative (kr) and nonradiative (knr) rate constants. The EuIII complex with TPPO-OPh ligands offers a markedly high emission quantum yield (72 % in [D6]acetone, 85 % in the solid state) owing to enhancement of the electric dipole transition and suppression of vibrational relaxation, which are directly related to kr and knr. The coordination geometries of the EuIII complexes are categorized by shape-measure calculations. The EuIII complexes exhibit characteristic square-antiprismatic or trigonal-dodecahedral structures, depending on the ligand polarization. Strongly luminescent Eu(hfa)3(TPPO-OPh)2 has an asymmetric dodecahedron structure. The formation of distorted dodecahedral structures with low vibrational frequencies for the enhancement of luminescence is elucidated in terms of the ligand polarization of the monodentate phosphine oxide ligands in the EuIII complexes.