Two Schiff bases, HL1 and HL2 have been prepared by the condensation of N-methyl-1,3-propanediamine (mpn) with salicylaldehyde and 1-benzoylacetone (Hbn) respectively. HL1 on reaction with Cu(ClO4)(2)center dot 6H(2)O in methanol produced a trinuclear Cu-II complex, [(CuL1)(3)(mu(3)-OH)](ClO4)(2)center dot H2O center dot 0.5CH(2)Cl(2) (1) but HL2 underwent hydrolysis under similar reaction conditions to result in a ternary Cu-II complex, [Cu(bn)(mpn)ClO4]. Both complexes have been characterised by single-crystal X-ray analyses, IR and UV-Vis spectroscopy and electrochemical studies. The partial cubane core [Cu3O4] of 1 consists of a central mu(3)-OH and three peripheral phenoxo bridges from the Schiff base. All three copper atoms of the trinuclear unit are five-coordinate with a distorted square-pyramidal geometry. The ternary complex 2 is mononuclear with the square-pyramidal Cu-II coordinated by a chelating bidentate diamine (mpn) and a benzoylacetonate (bn) moiety in the equatorial plane and one of the oxygen atoms of perchlorate in an axial position. The results show that the Schiff base (HL2) derived from 1-benzoylacetone is more prone to hydrolysis than that from salicylaldehyde (HL1). Magnetic measurements of 1 have been performed in the 1.8-300 K temperature range. The experimental data clearly indicate antiferromagnetism in the complex. The best-fit parameters for complex 1 are g = 2.18(1) and J = -15.4(2) cm(-1)
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