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    The development of molecular materials with novel functionality offers promise for technological innovation. Switchable molecules that incorporate redox-active components are enticing candidate compounds due to their potential for electronic manipulation. Lanthanoid metals are most prevalent in their trivalent state and usually redox-activity in lanthanoid complexes is restricted to the ligand. The unique electronic and physical properties of lanthanoid ions have been exploited for various applications, including in magnetic and luminescent materials as well as in catalysis. Lanthanoid complexes are also promising for applications reliant on switchability, where the physical properties can be modulated by varying the oxidation state of a coordinated ligand. Lanthanoid-based redox activity is also possible, encompassing both divalent and tetravalent metal oxidation states. Thus, utilization of redox-active lanthanoid metals offers an attractive opportunity to further expand the capabilities of molecular materials. This review surveys both ligand and lanthanoid centered redox-activity in pre-existing molecular systems, including tuning of lanthanoid magnetic and photophysical properties by modulating the redox states of coordinated ligands. Ultimately the combination of redox-activity at both ligands and metal centers in the same molecule can afford novel electronic structures and physical properties, including multiconfigurational electronic states and valence tautomerism. Further targeted exploration of these features is clearly warranted, both to enhance understanding of the underlying fundamental chemistry, and for the generation of a potentially important new class of molecular material. © 2020 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


    Moya A Hay, Colette Boskovic. Lanthanoid Complexes as Molecular Materials: The Redox Approach. Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 2021 Feb 19;27(11):3608-3637

    PMID: 32965741

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