Record-breaking molecular magnet

By coupling together a pair of lanthanide ions within the same compound, researchers have created what they believe are the most magnetic molecules ever made (Science 2022, DOI: 10.1126/science.abl5470).

“By all the traditional metrics of single-molecule magnets, they’re the best,” says Nicholas Chilton of the new molecules. Chilton, who’s based at the University of Manchester, collaborated on the work with Jeffrey Long at the University of California, Berkeley, and Benjamin Harvey at the US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. Although the molecules’ magnetism only reveals itself at low temperatures, Chilton hopes that these dilanthanide complexes might pave the way for new types of powerful yet lightweight permanent magnets.

Roberta Sessoli of the University of Florence, a pioneer of single-molecule magnets who was not involved in the work, says “this really is a very, very important piece of work. This is something that is going to remain as a milestone.”…

Read more