Using the 1: 2 condensate of benzildihydrazone and 2-acetylpyridine as a tetradentate N donor ligand L, LaL(NO3)(3) (1) and EuL(NO3)(3) (2), which are pale yellow in colour, are synthesized. While single crystals of 1 could not be obtained, 2 crystallises as a monodichloromethane solvate, 2 center dot CH2Cl2 in the space group Cc with a = 11.7099(5) angstrom, b = 16.4872(5) angstrom, c = 17.9224(6) angstrom and beta = 104.048(4)degrees. From the X-ray crystal structure, 2 is found to be a rare example of monohelical complex of Eu(III). Complex 1 is diamagnetic. The magnetic moment of 2 at room temperature is 3.32 BM. Comparing the FT-IR spectra of 1 and 2, it is concluded that 1 also is a mononuclear single helix. H-1 NMR reveals that both 1 and 2 are mixtures of two diastereomers. In the case of the La(III) complex (1), the diastereomeric excess is only 10% but in the Eu(III) complex 2 it is 80%. The occurrence of diastereomerism is explained by the chiralities of the helical motif and the type of pentakis chelates present in 1 and 2
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