CAREER: Exploiting Novel Architectures for Advanced Heterometallic Magnetic Molecules and Materials
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In this CAREER project, funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamic & Mechanism B Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Michael Nippe of the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University is developing new classes of heterometallic transition metal-rare earth complexes with interesting magnetic properties. The goal of this research is to exploit various interactions between paramagnetic metal ions to develop new classes of single-molecule magnets (SMMs) that will feature improved performance, higher operating temperatures, and switchable magnetization dynamics. These molecular materials have tremendous potential for next generation data storage and future spintronic devices. This interdisciplinary project combines state-of-the-art techniques from inorganic, synthetic, computational, and physical chemistry to identify important fundamental design guidelines for novel SMM systems. The project is very well suited to holistically educate future scientists at all levels. This project also involves the creation and development of new class modules at the highest level of education. Several outreach activities to high schools featuring underrepresented students in sciences are also part of the project.Interactions of lanthanide (Ln) atoms with transition metal (TM) atoms result in hard bulk magnetic materials. Highly magnetic anisotropic Ln3+ ions are also commonly exploited for the study of slow magnetic relaxation in SMMs, which have attracted increased attention due to their potential application in information storage and spintronic devices. SMMs are characterized by a thermal energy barrier to magnetization reversal. However, only very limited information about the magnetic properties of molecular materials featuring direct Ln-TM bonds have been reported. Furthermore, Ln-TM bonded complexes are rare and fundamental questions concerning the nature of the bonding remain open. This project addresses these questions with the specific goal to develop next-generation SMMs. Synthetic strategies to access and study molecules that feature (1) direct Ln-TM bonds or (2) LnÂ·Â·Â·TM interactions will be developed. Focus is given to the study of magnetic properties at various timescales of these heterometallic Ln/TM complexes.This award reflects NSF''s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation''s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.