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In iron(II) spin-crossover compounds, the transition from the 1A1 low-spin state at low temperatures to the 5T2 high-spin state at elevated temperatures is accompanied by a large increase in metal-ligand bond lengths. The resulting elastic interactions may be pictured as an internal pressure which is proportional to the concentration of the low-spin species. Because pressure stabilises the low-spin state relative to the high-spin state this results in a positive feedback. Thermal transition curves in neat iron(II) spin-crossover compounds are thus invariable much steeper than in diluted mixed crystals, and the high-spin→low-spin relaxation following the light-induced population of the high-spin state at low temperatures is self-accelerating. Strong interactions give rise to a thermal hysteresis, and light-induced bistabilities may be observed for compounds with initially a high-spin ground state and the potential for a light-induced population of the low-spin state. For such compounds, the increasing internal pressure may stabilise the low-spin state sufficiently so that it becomes the molecular ground state above some critical light-induced low-spin fraction. Secondary effects of the elastic interactions include crystallographic phase transitions, inhomogeneous distributions of sites, and anomalies such as steps in the transition curve.
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Last update Friday May 17 2013