Insight into D6h Symmetry: Targeting Strong Axiality in Stable Dysprosium(III) Hexagonal Bipyramidal Single-Ion Magnets

Three dysprosium(III) single-molecule magnets (SMMs) with the rare hexagonal bipyramidal geometry have been isolated for the first time. Following a novel synthetic strategy where the strong uniaxial ligand field generated by the Ph3SiO- (Ph3SiO- = anion of triphenylsilanol) and the 2,4-di-tBu-PhO- (2,4-di-tBu-PhO- = anion of 2,4-di-tertbutylphenol) ligands combined with the weak equatorial field of the ligand LN6, leads to [DyIII(LN6)(2,4-di-tBu-PhO)2](PF6) (1), [DyIII(LN6)(Ph3SiO)2](PF6) (2) and [DyIII(LN6)(Ph3SiO)2](BPh4) (3) hexagonal bipyramidal complexes with high anisotropy barriers of Ueff = 973 K for 1, Ueff = 1080 K for 2 and Ueff = 1124 K for 3 under zero applied dc field. Ab initio calculations predict that the dominant magnetization reversal barrier of these complexes expands up to the 3rd Kramers doublet, thus revealing for the first time the exceptional uniaxial magnetic anisotropy that even the six equatorial donor atoms fail to negate, opening up the possibility to other higher-order symmetry SMMs.