Complexes [Fe(X-salEen)2]BPh4·DMF, with X = Br (1), Cl (2), and F (3), were crystallised from N,N′-dimethylformamide with the aim of understanding the role of a high boiling point N,N′-dimethylformamide solvate in the spin crossover phenomenon. The counter ion was chosen for only being able to participate in weak intermolecular interactions. The compounds were structurally characterised by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Complex 1 crystallised in the orthorhombic space group P212121, and complexes 2 and 3 in the monoclinic space group P21/n. Even at room temperature, low spin was the predominant form, although complex 2 exhibited the largest proportion of the high-spin species according to both the magnetisation measurements and the Mössbauer spectra. Density Functional Theory calculations were performed both on the periodic solids and on molecular models for complexes 1–3 and the iodide analogue 4. While all approaches reproduced the experimental structures very well, the energy balance between the high-spin and low-spin forms was harder to reproduce, though some calculations pointed to the easier spin crossover of complex 2, as observed. Periodic calculations with the functional PBE led to very similar ΔEHS-LS values for all complexes but showed a preference for the low-spin form. However, the single-point calculations with B3LYP* showed, for the model without solvate, that the Cl complex should undergo spin crossover more easily. The molecular calculations also reflected this fact, which was more clearly defined when the cation–anion–solvate model was used. In the other models there was not much difference between the Cl, Br, and I complexes.
- spin crossover