• alkali metals;
  • bridging ligands;
  • O-donor ligands;
  • hydrogen bonds

Reaction of 6-methyl-2-pyridone (Hmhp) with Na or K metal, or with Rb or Cs 2-ethylhexoxide, in an appropriate single or mixed solvent, yields a series of solvated polymeric complexes with the empirical formulae M(mhp)(H2O)2 [(1), M = Na; (2), M = K], M(mhp)(H2O) [(3), M = Rb; (4), M = Cs] and Cs(mhp)(ROH) [(5), R = Me; (6), R = Et]. All of the products have been crystallographically characterized and show sheet polymeric structures, except for a double-chain structure for (2). In all of the structures, mhp and solvent molecules function as bridging ligands; two metal ions are bridged (μ2) by each solvent molecule in (1), (5) and (6), while (2) contains both μ2 and μ3 triple bridges, and (3) and (4) display highly unusual μ4 quadruple bridging of metal ions by water molecules. The pyridonate O atom bridges two or three metal ions in each case. Nitrogen is also involved in coordination to the heavier metals; it bonds to a single ion in (3) and (4), but has an almost unprecedented bridging role in (5) and (6). As a result of the extensive bridging by ligands, coordination numbers between 6 and 8 are achieved for the metal ions. In each structure, all solvent OH groups form hydrogen bonds to pyridonate O and, in some cases, N atoms. With one exception, these are the first reported pyridonate complexes of the alkali metals Na–Cs that do not also include transition metals.