Direct Imaging of Isolated Single-Molecule Magnets in Metal-Organic Frameworks.
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Practical applications involving the magnetic bistability of single-molecule magnets (SMMs) for next-generation computer technologies require nanostructuring, organization, and protection of nanoscale materials in two- or three-dimensional networks, to enable read-and-write processes. Owing to their porous nature and structural long-range order, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been proposed as hosts to facilitate these efforts. Although probing the channels of MOF composites using indirect methods is well established, the use of direct methods to elucidate fundamental structural information is still lacking. Herein we report the direct imaging of SMMs encapsulated in a mesoporous MOF matrix using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. These images deliver, for the first time, direct and unambiguous evidence to support the adsorption of molecular guests within the porous host. Bulk magnetic measurements further support the successful nanostructuring of SMMs. The preparation of the first magnetic composite thin films of this kind furthers the development of molecular spintronics.