CORDIS - EU research results

Spin-selective chiral nano-cages for molecular spintronics

Project description

A new spin on memory storage and quantum computing

Conventional computers store information mainly in two ways: long-term with information encoded in the direction of magnetisation of small areas of magnetic media and short-term with information stored electrically. Spintronics devices harness the electron’s spin rather than its charge to process information. Conventional spintronics rely on inorganic magnetic materials and the requisite technical challenges. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the SPINCS project is investigating the use of spin-selective chiral supramolecular nano-cages. Spin will be transferred from the host cage molecule to the smaller guest molecule upon excitation with light based on the handedness of the chiral molecules, enabling spin storage or switching with unparalleled control.


Conventional electronics employs the electron’s charge to process information. An alternative route is to utilise its spin instead, promising for realising equivalent devices that operate far more energy-efficiently, but also paving the way for entirely new applications like non-volatile memory or quantum computing. Previous attempts to realise such spintronics platforms were based on inorganic magnetic materials, often requiring very low temperatures and highest material purities that involve energy-extensive fabrication processes. Within this highly interdisciplinary project, I will explore an entirely different avenue towards spin-control which is based on the concept of chirality in novel molecular self-assemblies. Together with experts in synthetic chemistry, I have designed supramolecular cages that are chiral and can also encapsulate smaller molecules inside. Upon excitation with light, an electron can be transferred from the host to the guest, and with it the desired spin based on the chosen handedness of the molecules. This enables spin storage or switching and thus to encode information. To this end, I will combine time-resolved optical and electron spectroscopy to unravel the mechanism of chirality-induced spin-selectivity in such supramolecular structures, and then employ it for spin-dependent charge transfer from host to guest, tunable through spin-orbit coupling of the chosen building blocks. As such, I will exploit the versatility of a chemical bottom-up approach combined with light-matter interactions for the first time in chiral supramolecular nanostructures for unprecedented optical spin control, dictated by molecular design. This research will open up the path to molecular spintronics applications like memory storage, sensors or logic devices for quantum computing.


Net EU contribution
€ 246 669,12
69117 Heidelberg

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Baden-Württemberg Karlsruhe Heidelberg, Stadtkreis
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 246 669,12

Partners (1)