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Structural diversity in conducting bilayer salts (CNB-EDT-TTF)4A

Authors: Isabel. C. Santos; Vasco Gama; Sandra Rabaça; Luís F. Veiros; Fernando Nogueira; José A. Paixão; Manuel Almeida

Ref.: Cryst. Eng. Comm. 22, 8313 (2020)

Abstract: The family of recently described salts based on the electron donor CNB-EDT-TTF (5-cyanobenzene-ethylenedithio-tetrathiafulvalene) and different anions A, with general formula (CNB-EDT-TTF)4A, constitutes an unprecedented type of molecular conductor based on a bilayer structure of the donors. The crystal structures of the bilayer conductors (CNB-EDT-TTF)4A with small discrete anions are reviewed and analyzed considering previously reported compounds with different anions (A = I3−, ClO4−, BF4−, ReO4−, PF6− and SbF6−), as well as three new members of this family described here with AsF6−, AuI2−and I2Br−. A common structural feature of this family of compounds is the head-to-head arrangement of the donors, induced by a network of weak C[triple bond, length as m-dash]N⋯H–C interactions, which can be described as an effective combination of R22(10) and R24(10) synthons, forming donor bilayers alternating with anionic layers. The magnitude of the interactions associated with R22(10) and R24(10) synthons is estimated to be 4.7 and 10.0 kcal mol−1, respectively. In spite of the common donor bilayer arrangement, a rich diversity of structural variations and polymorphs is observed. These structures are related to different types of donor or anion arrangements, which are analyzed. For all anions a β′′-type packing pattern of the donor molecules arranged in virtually identical bilayers is observed. However, for (CNB-EDT-TTF)4I3, so far a unique exception in this family of compounds, a distinct κ-type packing of the donors, is also obtained as a metastable phase as shown also by DFT calculations that predict the κ-phase above the β′′-phase. Another type of polymorphism is observed in β′′-(CNB-EDT-TTF)4A, compounds with tetrahedral anions, related to the tilting of the donor molecules (either alternating or uniform) in successive bilayers, leading to monoclinic or triclinic unit cells, with doubling of one cell parameter corresponding to the thickness of one bilayer (∼25 Å). Finally, the anions, which often appear with fractional site occupation factors, can be ordered in the anionic plane, with different degrees of correlation between successive anion planes as shown in the AsF6.compound. The implications of these structural features in the electronic properties of these compounds are also discussed.

DOI: 10.1039/d0ce01433h