Scientists discover first high-temperature single-molecule magnet

October 18, 2018

A team of scientists led by Professor Richard Layfield at the University of Sussex has published breakthrough research in molecule-based magnetic information storage materials.

The group at the University of Sussex, working with collaborators at Sun-Yat Sen University in China and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, report a new single-molecule magnet (SMM) - a type of material that retains magnetic information up to a characteristic blocking temperature.

Writing in the journal Science, Professor Layfield and his co-authors explain how they successfully designed and synthesized the first SMM with a blocking temperature above 77 K, the boiling point of liquid nitrogen, which is both cheap and readily available.

Previously, it was only possible to synthesize SMMs with blocking temperatures reachable by cooling with expensive and scarce liquid helium.

Professor of Chemistry, Richard Layfield, said: "Single-molecule magnets have been firmly stuck in the liquid-helium temperature regime for over a quarter of a century. Having previously proposed a blueprint for the molecular structure of a high-temperature SMM, we have now refined our design strategy to a level that allows access to the first such material.

"Our new result is a milestone that overcomes a major obstacle to developing new molecular information storage materials and we are excited about the prospects for advancing the field even further."

SMMs are molecules capable of remembering the direction of a magnetic field that has been applied to them over relatively long periods of time once the magnetic field is switched off.

As such, one can "write" information into molecules leading SMMs to have various potential applications, such as high-density digital storage media and as parts of microprocessors in quantum computers. Practical applications have, however, been greatly hindered by the fact that SMMs are operational only at extremely low temperatures. Their intrinsic memory properties often vanish if they are heated a few degrees above absolute zero (-273°C), meaning SMMs can be only studied under laboratory conditions by cooling them with liquid helium.

The discovery of the first high-temperature SMM means developments could be made in the future to massively increase the storage capacity of hard disks without increasing their physical size.
-end-


University of Sussex

Related Magnetic Field Articles from Brightsurf:

Investigating optical activity under an external magnetic field
A new study published in EPJ B by Chengping Yin, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Quantum Engineering and Quantum Materials, South China, aims to derive an analytical model of optical activity in black phosphorous under an external magnetic field.

Magnetic field and hydrogels could be used to grow new cartilage
Instead of using synthetic materials, Penn Medicine study shows magnets could be used to arrange cells to grow new tissues

Magnetic field with the edge!
This study overturns a dominant six-decade old notion that the giant magnetic field in a high intensity laser produced plasma evolves from the nanometre scale.

Global magnetic field of the solar corona measured for the first time
An international team led by Professor Tian Hui from Peking University has recently measured the global magnetic field of the solar corona for the first time.

Magnetic field of a spiral galaxy
A new image from the VLA dramatically reveals the extended magnetic field of a spiral galaxy seen edge-on from Earth.

How does Earth sustain its magnetic field?
Life as we know it could not exist without Earth's magnetic field and its ability to deflect dangerous ionizing particles.

Scholes finds novel magnetic field effect in diamagnetic molecules
The Princeton University Department of Chemistry publishes research this week proving that an applied magnetic field will interact with the electronic structure of weakly magnetic, or diamagnetic, molecules to induce a magnetic-field effect that, to their knowledge, has never before been documented.

Origins of Earth's magnetic field remain a mystery
The existence of a magnetic field beyond 3.5 billion years ago is still up for debate.

New research provides evidence of strong early magnetic field around Earth
New research from the University of Rochester provides evidence that the magnetic field that first formed around Earth was even stronger than scientists previously believed.

Massive photons in an artificial magnetic field
An international research collaboration from Poland, the UK and Russia has created a two-dimensional system -- a thin optical cavity filled with liquid crystal -- in which they trapped photons.

Read More: Magnetic Field News and Magnetic Field Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.