Controlling spin-crossover of a single molecule

Jan 26, 2015

For using single molecules as building blocks in spin-electronics (spintronics) it is important to be able to manipulate their spin state. In metal-organic complexes this is achieved by co-ordinating ligands to a metal centre, which leads to ligand-induced spin switching (LISS). Alternatively, spin crossover (SCO) complexes may be used, whose spin state may be controlled by temperature, light, pressure or magnetic fields. In contrast to LISS, SCO does not require chemical changes of the molecule. While the SCO effect has long been know from bulk materials control of the spin state of single SCO molecule has now been demonstrated for the first time by Gopakumar et al. By injecting electrons into selected molecules the IEAP researchers switched molecules between states with low or high spin. The work has been performed in a collaboration of the Tuczek and Berndt groups with funding through SFB 677. It has been selected as a Hot Paper in Angewandte Chemie.