A proton–electron coupling system, exhibiting unique bistability or multistability of the protonated state, is an attractive target for developing new switchable materials based on proton dynamics. Herein, we present an iron(II) hydrazone crystalline compound, which displays the stepwise transition and bistability of proton transfer at the crystal level. These phenomena are realized through the coupling with spin transition. Although the multi-step transition with hysteresis has been observed in various systems, the corresponding behavior of proton transfer has not been reported in crystalline systems; thus, the described iron(II) complex is the first example. Furthermore, because proton transfer occurs only in one of the two ligands and π electrons redistribute in it, the dipole moment of the iron(II) complexes changes with the proton transfer, wherein the total dipole moment in the crystal was canceled out owing to the antiferroelectric-like arrangement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas