A new family of metal groups such as wheels exhibit unique properties

April 14, 2023

(Nanowerk News) While the wheel does not need to be reinvented, there are merits to the development of new nanowheels, according to a China-based multi-institut research team. The group creates a new family of metal compounds, each of which exhibits unique properties desirable for next-generation technologies, such as advanced sensors.

Their findings are available at Polyoxometalate (“Tricine Supported Polyoxo(alkoxo)lanthanide Cluster {Ln15} (Ln=Eu,Gd,Tb) with Magnetic Refrigerants and Fluorescent Properties”). A multi-institutional research team synthesized a family of nanowheel-like metal clusters, each with special properties – such as fluorescence and different types of magnetism – that could advance next-generation technologies. (Image: Polyoxometalates, Tsinghua University Press)

“Polymetallic complexes are of great interest not only for their attractive molecular structures but also for their versatile applications in various fields,” said co-author Yan-Zhen Zheng, professor at the Frontier Institute of Science and Technology (FIST) at Xi’ Jiaotong University.

Polymetallic complexes, consisting of many atoms of various metals or combinations of metals and other elements, have the potential to imbue materials with certain properties if molecules can be synthesized, Zheng said. Such properties include the ability to glow, or glow, and the magnetic peculiarities that allow for drastic changes and control of temperature.

Zheng and his team focused on creating polymetallic complexes made with the elements lanthanides, a group of 15 metallic materials also known as the rare earth elements. They specifically use europium, terbium and gadolinium.

“Among all the polymetallic complexes, lanthanide-based compounds have attracted unprecedented attention because of their interesting magnetic and luminescence behavior,” said Zheng. “Several such compounds have been isolated, but direct synthesis is a challenge.”

The complex components required vary geometrically, requiring significant coordination, according to Zheng.

“Previous findings reveal that controlling the hydrolysis – breaking down compounds with water – of lanthanide metal ions in the presence of suitable organic ligands would be a powerful strategy to obtain the desired species,” said Zheng. Ligands are molecules that bond to metal atoms. Its addition to the complex can stabilize the structure.

The researchers used hydrolysis to break down the lanthanides in a bath containing a ligand called tricine. Tricine contains many oxygen and hydrogen arms, meaning it can accommodate a wide variety of metals and help stabilize the resulting groups.

“Through a simple hydrolysis reaction, we synthesized three lanthanide nanogroups, and used X-ray diffraction analysis to reveal their stable, wheel-like structure,” said Zheng. “Due to the presence of different lanthanide metal ions in these analogues, each compound exhibits different properties.”

Europium-based clusters emit red emissions, while terbium-based clusters emit green emissions. Gadolinium-based clusters exhibit potential applications in magnetic cooling. According to Zheng, the research group is continuing to investigate the synthesis and application of the cluster.

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button