How organic magnets grow in a thin film

March 23, 2013

( —Development of organic single molecule magnets opens a great many of applications for magnetic materials and new memory technologies. Organic magnets are lighter, more flexible and less energy intensive in production than conventional magnets. Scientists from the laboratory of Dr. Benedetta Casu and Professor Thomas Chassé at the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry of the University of Tübingen have established together with colleagues of the University of Florence a first step on the road to new applications for organic magnets: Their controlled deposition in a thin film.

Purely organic magnets are based on carbon, they are not comprised of classic magnetic elements like iron. To be precise, these are paramagnetic, exhibiting their magnetic character only as long as they are near a magnetic field. The investigated organic magnets contain an unpaired electron enabling the magnetic character of the molecule. In chemistry, these compounds are called . In previous studies, the investigation of the chemistry of organic magnets has been the main object. However, in their new study the scientists concentrated on the production of a very thin film of molecular magnets in the dimension of nanometers – only millionths of millimeters. The scientists let grow the molecule NitPyn, a derivative of the nitronyl-nitroxide radical that had already proved to be a stable organic magnet, in an ordered structure on a single gold crystal.

For the first time the scientists used an established production process of thin layers of organic compounds for the deposition of a thin film of organic magnets. The paramagnetic character of NitPyn proved to be stable even during evaporation and deposition processes. The scientists investigated also the interface between the gold crystals and the layer of NitPyn. It is foreseen that the thickness of the NitPyn layer and structural order of the molecules can be varied with temperature or structure of the substrate.

In producing these thin films of purely organic magnets, the scientists have provided a substantial progress for the development of component parts for new memory technologies. In future, a single molecule could transport one bit of information, storing a great many data in a very small space. This project at the interface of physics, chemistry, material science and technology pushes the potential of these substances towards organic electronics.

Explore further: Scientists study a magnetic makeover

More information: Chemistry - A European Journal, 2013; 19 (10): 3445 DOI: 10.1002/chem.201203247

Related Stories

Scientists study a magnetic makeover

January 17, 2007

Researchers at the University of Victoria have discovered new lightweight magnets that could be used in making everything from extra-thin magnetic computer memory to ultra-light spacecraft parts. A paper on the study will ...

The origin of organic magnets

March 2, 2012

Electrical engineers are starting to consider materials made from organic molecules -- including those made from carbon atoms -- as an intriguing alternative to the silicon and metals used currently in electronic devices, ...

New hybrid material simplifies organic transistor design

July 25, 2012

( -- Organic transistors serve as a key component of new flexible, low-cost electronics. Since the organic materials that make up these transistors are what give the transistors their ability to switch and amplify ...

Recommended for you

New polymer creates safer fuels

October 1, 2015

Before embarking on a transcontinental journey, jet airplanes fill up with tens of thousands of gallons of fuel. In the event of a crash, such large quantities of fuel increase the severity of an explosion upon impact. Researchers ...

Researchers print inside gels to create unique shapes

September 30, 2015

(—A team of researchers at the University of Florida has taken the technique of printing objects inside of a gel a step further by using a highly shear-rate sensitive gel. In their paper published in the journal ...

How a molecular motor untangles protein

October 1, 2015

A marvelous molecular motor that untangles protein in bacteria may sound interesting, yet perhaps not so important. Until you consider the hallmarks of several neurodegenerative diseases—Huntington's disease has tangled ...

Anti-aging treatment for smart windows

October 1, 2015

Electrochromic windows, so-called 'smart windows', share a well-known problem with rechargeable batteries – their limited lifespan. Researchers at Uppsala University have now worked out an entirely new way to rejuvenate ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.