CAREER: Synthesis and Studies of One-Dimensional Magnets Supported by Bulky, Redox-Active Benzoquinonoid Bridging Ligands

  • Harris, Thomas David (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Intellectual Merit. One-dimensional paramagnetic coordination magnets, or “single-chain magnets,” are promising candidates for a number of spin-based applications, including high-density information storage and processing, quantum computing, and spintronics. Realization of these applications requires fundamental studies into the design of single-chain magnets that function near room temperature. This proposal outlines a research program aimed toward using coordination chemistry approaches to (1) synthesize new classes of single-chain magnets that exhibit strong coupling and to (2) carry out fundamental studies to better understand how to control spin relaxation barrier. These two directions will be pursued in parallel, with results from each helping to inform the next steps of the other. In particular, this research plan will focus on the synthesis and study of chain compounds comprised of high-spin, high-magnetic anisotropy metal ions connected by redox-active benzoquinonoid ligands. The proposed work is expected to accomplish the following goals:
● Test hypotheses regarding magnetic coupling in metal-ligand radical species.
● Establish structure/function relationships between metal-ligand composition and magnetic behavior.
● Synthesize single-chain magnets with unprecedented strengths of magnetic coupling.
● Synthesize single-chain magnets with spin relaxation barriers of unprecedented magnitude.
● Develop general solution-based methods for the synthesis and crystallization of chain compounds.
● Test current theoretical models that describe dependence of relaxation barrier on coupling strength.
Broader Impacts. The design and understanding of new magnetic materials is more important to society than ever before. These materials are the foundation of data storage and processing technology, and the demand for better performing and more efficient devices is growing at a rapid pace. Indeed, the requirements for current data centers, such as electricity consumption and cooling technology, will not be sustainable in the long term. To address these problems requires fundamental scientific research, particularly research focused on new paradigms in materials for magnet-based data manipulation. One such line of research is the study of low-dimensional molecular magnetic materials, which is the focus of this proposal. It is our expectation that the work proposed herein on single-chain magnets will answer fundamental questions and lead to discoveries needed to significantly advance current technology. This work will be carried out by a diverse group of graduate students, undergraduate students, and high school teachers. Further, this proposal seeks to develop new education and public outreach programs, geared toward reaching two high-impact groups in society: high school students and older adults. More specifically, a teacher-intern program will be developed, where teachers from local public high schools spend time in our lab to conduct research and develop education modules to implement in their own classrooms. In addition, a program will be developed in collaboration with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) aimed to promote education and cognitive interaction among older adults.
Integrating Education and Research Activities. In the proposed summer program, each high-school teacher intern will be partnered with one graduate or senior undergraduate student to carry our research pertaining to this proposal. In addition, the (under)graduate student/teacher intern team will jointly develop an education module, based on coordinatio
Effective start/end date3/15/148/31/19


  • National Science Foundation (DMR-1351959-001)


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