Enhancing magnetic hysteresis in single-molecule magnets by ligand functionalisation

Ke-Xin Yu, Jon Kragskow, You-Song Ding, Yuan-Qi Zhai, Daniel Reta, Nicholas Chilton, Yan-Zhen Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Design criteria for dysprosium(III) single-molecule magnets (SMMs) with large thermal energy barriers to magnetic reversal have been established and proven, and the challenge to enhance performance is in understanding and controlling electron-vibration coupling that is the origin of magnetic reversal. We have prepared an SMM, [Dy(L)2(py)5][BPh4] 1 (HL = (S)-(-)-1-phenylethanol), based on the archetype [Dy(OtBu)2(py)5][BPh4] 2. Compounds 1 and 2 have similarly large energy barriers of Ueff = 1130(20) cm-1 and Ueff = 1250(10) cm-1, and yet 1 shows magnetic hysteresis at a far higher temperature of 22 K cf. TH = 4 K for 2. Ab initio calculation of the electron-vibration coupling and spin dynamics shows that substitution of the alkoxide ligand in fact enhances relaxation over the energy barrier for 1 compared to 2, in agreement with experiment, and that the higher temperature of magnetic hysteresis likely owes to reduced quantum tunnelling at low temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Apr 2020


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