Group IV-A (Si, Ge, Sn and Pb) phthalocyanines with eight-(12-aneN(4)), moieties have been prepared from dicyano and diiminoisoindoline derivative or metal-free phthalocyanine and the corresponding metal salts. The axial groups attached to Si, Ge and Sn are two chlorides, hydroxides, phenolates or thiophenolates. The new compounds have been characterized by elemental analysis, IR, UV/VIS and NMR spectroscopy and thermogravimetric analysis. The thermal stability of group (IV-A) metal phthalocyanines is confirmed by the higher initial decomposition points (255-390 degrees C) compared to those of the corresponding transition-metal phthalocyanines. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.