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Low dimensional magnetism

Our technological society searches for smaller and smaller magnets in an attempt to store more information in smaller spaces. The tiniest magnets conceivable is no more than just a molecule, or better, just a metallic complex. Small clusters containing some metallic atoms and some organic ligands can function as microscopic magnets if they exhibit the characteristics of our common bulk magnets, namely remanence and hysteresis: and they DO!

The only drawback is that the Single Molecule Magnets need low temperatures to order magnetically and a search is being made to discover new compounds with more commercially attractive properties.

For the more futurist, the SMMs, zero dimensional magnets besides being used to store the two bits, “0” and “1”, corresponding to the spin-up spin-down magnetic state may be the ideal system to be used in quantum computation, where superposition of quantum states is needed.

There are other molecular systems that display interesting magnetic properties. In such systems the interaction between the metal centers is not equal in the three space directions but may be confined to one or two directions (low dimensional magnets). Such systems may exhibit unexpected physical properties like the Haldane gap or the Spin-Peierls transition.

CU(II) dimer
Cu(II) dimer

Fe(III) oxo-centred trimer

Fe(III) oxo-centred trimer

1D-Cu(II) chain magnetic susceptibility

Mn dimethyl glycine

A inifinite linear chain of Mn ions ordering at low-T
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