EPR Spectroscopy of Antiferromagnetically-Coupled Cr3+ Molecular Wheels

  • Rebecca Docherty

Student thesis: Phd


EPR Spectroscopy of Antiferromagnetically-Coupled Cr3+ Molecular WheelsCurrently, there is interest in the development of molecular-scale devices for uses in quantum information processing (QIP). With this application in mind, physical studies on antiferromagnetically coupled molecular wheels [Cr7MF3(Etglu)(O2CtBu)15(phpy)], where M is a divalent metal cation (M = Mn2+, Zn2+, Ni2+) have been pursued. The heterometallic wheels contain an octagon of metal centres, which are bridged by fluoride ions, pivalate groups and a chiral N-ethyl-D-glutamine molecule which is penta-deprotonated and bound to the metal sites through all available O-donors. They are deep purple in colour and they have been named purple-Cr7M. There is antiferromagnetic coupling between adjacent metal centres, J » -8 cm-1, resulting in a non-zero net spin ground state. The spin-Hamiltonian parameters of this family have been determined.At the heterometal site of purple-Cr7M wheels there is a terminal ligand which can be substituted for a variety of N-donor organic ligands. A series of bidentate N-donor linkers has been used to link Cr7Ni wheels (each wheel Seff = 1/2) to create prototype two-qubit systems. Multi-frequency EPR spectroscopy and SQUID magnetometry has been used to extract the spin-Hamiltonian parameters of this family. It has been shown that the single wheels can be linked together electronically as well as chemically. It has been found that for the unsaturated linkers, there is a weaker interaction between Cr7Ni wheels when longer linkers are used. The strength of interaction is smaller for the saturated linkers than for the unsaturated linkers.The formation of "green"-Cr7M wheels is different, being templated around a cation. Two new types of wheels have been studied: [tBuCONHC6H12NH2C6H12NHCOtBu][Cr7M2+F8(O2CtBu)16] and [CsCr7MF8(O2CtBu)16]·0.5MeCN (where, M = Mn2+, Zn2+, Ni2+), where the former is templated around a long dialkylammonium group and the latter around a caesium cation. The effect of the templating cation on spectroscopic properties has been determined.Physical studies on a family of antiferromagnetically-coupled homometallic clusters have been pursued. They consist of cyclic arrays of homometallic Cr3+ ions in either a octametallic wheel or hexametallic horseshoes. The horseshoes have the general formula: [CrxFx+5L2x-2]n3- (where L = carboxylate). Cr3+ centres are bridged by pivalate groups and fluorides, while Cr3+ centres at the ends of the chain have terminal fluorides completing their coordination sphere. These terminal fluoride groups are labile enough to be substituted, e.g. [EtNH2][Cr6F7(O2CtBu)10(acac)2] is the product of a substitution reaction with acetylacetone.
Date of Award31 Dec 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRichard Winpenny (Supervisor) & Eric Mcinnes (Supervisor)


  • Quantum information processing
  • Supramolecular chemistry
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • Inorganic chemistry

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