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Radical Solutions for Hysteresis in Single-Molecule Magnets

Radical Solutions for Hysteresis in Single-Molecule Magnets

Objective

Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) display magnetic hysteresis that is molecular in origin, and these materials have huge potential to be developed as nano-scale devices. The big challenge is to create SMMs that function without the need for liquid-helium cooling.

This project will develop new SMMs that combine the strong magnetic anisotropy of lanthanide ions with a series of novel radical ligands. Our innovative SMMs will have controllable molecular and electronic structures, which will ultimately enable hysteresis at unprecedented temperatures.

Highly unusual di- and tri-metallic Ln-SMMs are proposed in which the metals are bridged by radicals with heavy Group 15 (phosphorus-bismuth) and Group 16 (sulphur-tellurium) donor atoms. Trimetallic SMMs will also be based on hexaazatriphenylene (HAT) radicals, and dimetallic SMMs will also be based on nindigo radicals, both of which are nitrogen-donor ligands.

The SMM field is dominated by systems with diamagnetic ligands. Our radical ligands have never been used in SMM studies: their diffuse unpaired spin provides a way of switching off the quantum tunnelling mechanisms that otherwise prevent hysteresis. We will exploit the rich electrochemistry of the target ligands: heavy p-block radicals have huge spin densities on the donor atoms; HAT radicals can have up to three unpaired electrons; reduced or oxidized nindigo radicals allow access to redox-switchable SMMs. In the HAT-bridged SMMs, the use of ligands with more than one unpaired electron is unprecedented. The heavy p-block ligands are themselves are novel.

The PI’s approach to SMMs has already established new directions in lanthanide chemistry and in molecular magnetism. He now proposes a new, radical approach to SMMs with potential to re-define the state of the art, and to extend the frontiers of a vibrant multi-disciplinary field. Achieving the aims will provide a major step towards using SMMs for applications at practical temperatures.
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Host institution

University of Sussex

Address

Sussex House Falmer
Bn1 9rh Brighton

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 050 608,57

Beneficiaries (3)

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University of Sussex

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 1 050 608,57

KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 17 153,75

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 516 439,98

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 646740

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 September 2015

  • End date

    31 August 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 584 202,30

  • EU contribution

    € 1 584 202,30

Hosted by:

University of Sussex

United Kingdom