An octacoordinated Fe(II) complex, [FeII(dpphen)2](BF4)2·1.3H2O (1; dpphen = 2,9-bis(pyrazol-1-yl)-1,10-phenanthroline), with a pseudo-D2d-symmetric metal center has been synthesized. Magnetic, high-frequency/-field electron paramagnetic resonance (HF-EPR), and theoretical investigations reveal that 1 is characterized by uniaxial magnetic anisotropy with a negative axial zero-field splitting (ZFS) (D ≈ -6.0 cm-1) and a very small rhombic ZFS (E ≈ 0.04 cm-1). Under applied dc magnetic fields, complex 1 exhibits slow magnetic relaxation at low temperature. Fitting the relaxation time with the Arrhenius mode combining Orbach and tunneling terms affords a good fit to all the data and yields an effective energy barrier (17.0 cm-1) close to the energy gap between the ground state and the first excited state. The origin of the strong uniaxial magnetic anisotropy for 1 has been clearly understood from theoretical calculations. Our study suggests that high-coordinated compounds featuring a D2d-symmetric metal center are promising candidates for mononuclear single-molecule magnets.
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