Synthesis, structure and physical properties of the first one-dimensional phenalenyl-based neutral radical molecular conductor
by Pal, S. K.; Itkis, M. E.; Reed, R. W.; Oakley, R. T.; Cordes, A. W.; Tham, F. S.; Siegrist, T.; Haddon, R. C.
We report the preparation, crystallization, and solid-state characterization of a benzyl-substituted spirobiphenalenyl radical. The crystal structure shows that the radical is monomeric in the solid state, with the molecules packed in an unusual one-dimensional (1-D) fashion that we refer to as a T-step stack. This particular mode of 1-D stacking is forced on the lattice arrangement by the presence of the orthogonal phenalenyl units that were specifically incorporated to prevent the crystallization of low-dimensional structures. The structure shows that this strategy is effective, and neighboring molecules in the stack can only interact via the overlap of one pair of active (spin-bearing) carbon atoms per phenalenyl unit, leading to the pi-step structure in which the remaining four active carbon atoms per phenalenyl unit do not interact with nearest neighbor molecules. The magnetic susceptibility data in the temperature range 4-360 K may be fit to an antiferromagnetic Heisenberg S = 1/2 linear chain model with intrachain spin coupling J = -52.3 cm(-1). Despite the uniform stacking, the material has a room temperature conductivity of 1.4 x 10(-3) S/cm and is best described as a Mott insulator.