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Modulation of intermolecular interactions in single- molecule magnets


Polynuclear manganese clusters exhibiting interesting magnetic and quantum properties have been an area of intense research since the discovery of the first single- molecule magnet (SMM) in 1993. These molecules, below their blocking temperature, function as single-domain magnetic particles which exhibit classical macroscale magnetic properties as well as quantum mechanical phenomena such as quantum tunnelling of magnetization (QTM) and quantum phase interference. The union of classical and quantum behavior in these nanomaterials makes SMMs ideal candidates for high-density information storage and quantum computing. However, environmental coupling factors (nuclear spins, phonons, neighboring molecules) must be minimized if such applications are ever to be fully realized. The focus of this work is making small structural changes in well-known manganese SMMs in order to drastically enhance the overall magnetic and quantum properties of the system. Well-isolated molecules of high crystalline quality should lead to well-defined energetic and spectral properties as well. An advantage of SMMs over bulk magnetic materials is that they can be chemically altered from a "bottom-up" approach providing a synthetic tool for tuning magnetic properties. This systematic approach is utilized in the work presented herein by incorporating bulky ligands and/or counterions to "isolate" the magnetic core of [Mn4] dicubane SMMs. Reducing intermolecular interactions in the crystal lattice (neighboring molecules, solvate molecules, dipolar interactions) is an important step toward developing viable quantum computing devices. Detailed bulk magnetic studies as well as single crystal magnetization hysteresis and high-frequency EPR studies on these sterically- isolated complexes show enhanced, and sometimes even unexpected, quantum dynamics. The importance of intra- and intermolecular interactions remains a common theme throughout this work, extending to other SMMs of various topology including large wheel-shaped complexes, hexanuclear rods, and even small dinuclear species

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