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Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie

Molecular magnetism

This research topic is being developed thanks to a strong collaboration with three chemistry laboratories :

  • The Laboratoire de Chimie Inorganique et de Magnétisme Moléculaire (LCIM2),
  • The Institut de Chimie Moléculaire et Organique (ICMO),
  • And the chemistry department in Florence (Italy).

This research is heavily dependent on our TBT cryostat that was developed with Jean-Paul Kappler from IPCMS. Unique in the world, this machine can measure XMCD signals at very low temperature (200 millikelvins) in very intense magnetic fields (7 teslas).

  • Molecular nanomagnets

Nanomagnets are magnetic molecules that are characterized by wide hysteresis loops due to a strong anisotropy, similarly to that observed in classical magnets. They show very large coercive fields (several teslas), dynamic magnetization curves and low ordering temperatures (often under 4 K).  Our aim is to construct set-ups in which isolated magnetic molecules are deposited on surfaces (Au(111), Si(111) ou CdSe) and spontaneously self-organize. The magnetic properties of these molecular spintronic objects cannot be measured with conventional techniques and only XMCD (which is chemically selective and highly sensitive to surface effects) can give quantitative information.

  • Photomagnetism

Molecular chemistry makes possible the production of high-spin photoactive molecules for which bistability could be used in a longer term for stocking information on a nanometer scale. We seek to clarify the fundamental physical and chemical properties of these complex objects (bimetallic cyanides or cobalt cathecholates from the University of Florence), for which the photomagnetism can be caused either by a charge transfer or a high spin/low spin conversion.

Experimental methodes : XAS, XMCD,
Theorical methods: DFT, LFM.


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