Over the past fifteen years or so, the study of f-element single-ion magnets (f-SIMs) has gone from being a sub-discipline of molecular magnetism to an established field of research in its own right. The major driving force has been their exceptional promise in applications such as ultra-high-density data storage, spintronics, and quantum information processing (QIP). Recent demonstrations that f-SIMs preserve their intrinsic magnetic properties even when deposited onto substrates have reinforced the interests in the field. Here, we review the current state of the field of lanthanide and actinide f-SIMs; discuss the principal factors affecting the magnetic and quantum properties of such single-ion magnets; review the latest chemical approaches in designing f-SIMs with superior properties; and highlight new trends in single molecule magnetism, including using f-SIMs as potential spin qubits for quantum computers.
- Quantum information processing
- Single-ion magnets
- Slow magnetic relaxation