Cyclopentadienyl ligands in lanthanide single-molecule magnets: One ring to rule them all?

Day, Benjamin M, Guo, Fu-Sheng and Layfield, Richard A (2018) Cyclopentadienyl ligands in lanthanide single-molecule magnets: One ring to rule them all? Accounts of Chemical Research, 51 (8). pp. 1880-1889. ISSN 0001-4842

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The discovery of materials capable of storing magnetic information at the level of single molecules and even single atoms has fueled renewed interest in the slow magnetic relaxation properties of single-molecule magnets (SMMs). The lanthanide elements, especially dysprosium, continue to play a pivotal role in the development of potential nanoscale applications of SMMs, including, for example, in molecular spintronics and quantum computing. Aside from their fundamentally fascinating physics, the realization of functional materials based on SMMs requires significant scientific and technical challenges to be overcome. In particular, extremely low temperatures are needed to observe slow magnetic relaxation, and while many SMMs possess a measurable energy barrier to reversal of the magnetization (Ueff), very few such materials display the important properties of magnetic hysteresis with remanence and coercivity. Werner-type coordination chemistry has been the dominant method used in the synthesis of lanthanide SMMs, and most of our knowledge and understanding of these materials is built on the many important contributions based on this approach. In contrast, lanthanide organometallic chemistry and lanthanide magnetochemistry have effectively evolved along separate lines, hence our goal was to promote a new direction in single-molecule magnetism by uniting the nonclassical organometallic synthetic approach with the traditionally distinct field of molecular magnetism. Over the last several years, our work on SMMs has focused on obtaining a detailed understanding of why magnetic materials based on the dysprosium metallocene cation building block {Cp2Dy}+ display slow magnetic relaxation. Specifically, we aspired to control the SMM properties using novel coordination chemistry in a way that hinges on key considerations, such as the strength and the symmetry of the crystal field. In establishing that the two cyclopentadienyl ligands combine to provide a strongly axial crystal field, we were able to propose a robust magneto-structural correlation for understanding the properties of dysprosium metallocene SMMs. In doing so, a blueprint was established that allows Ueff and the magnetic blocking temperature (TB) to be improved in a well-defined way. Although experimental discoveries with SMMs occur more rapidly than quantitative theory can (currently) process and explain,
a clear message emanating from the literature is that a combination of the two approaches is most effective. In this Account, we summarize the main findings from our own work on dysprosium metallocene SMMs, and consider them in the light of related experimental studies and theoretical interpretations of related materials reported by other protagonists. In doing so, we aim to contribute to the nascent and healthy debate on the nature of spin dynamics in SMMs and allied molecular nanomagnets, which will be crucial for the further advancement of this vibrant research field.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Chemistry
Depositing User: Richard Layfield
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2018 16:27
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 14:48

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