Field and temperature dependent quantum tunnelling of the magnetisation in a large barrier single-molecule magnet
Journal: Nature Communications
Publication Date: 07 August, 2018
Department of: Chemistry
Unravelling the behaviour of a quirky quantum quandary
Researchers at The University of Manchester have found evidence that temperature influences quantum tunnelling processes in single-molecule magnets (SMMs). SMMs are molecules that show magnetic hysteresis, a memory effect that could allow information to be stored at the molecular scale, which arises from an internal energy barrier to magnetic reversal. However, quantum tunnelling of the magnetisation (QTM) is a shortcut that can erase the magnetic memory very quickly, even at temperatures approaching absolute zero.
Previously, QTM was thought to be independent of temperature, however by studying the magnetisation dynamics of a high-performance metal-organic dysprosium(III) SMM over 11 orders of magnitude, researchers at The University of Manchester and their colleagues at Xi”an Jiaotong University in China have shown that QTM is in fact influenced by temperature. The data suggest that the temperature dependence arises from molecular vibrations, and thus the team suggest that the deleterious QTM process can be controlled by molecular design, leading towards SMMs with higher operating temperatures and information storage at the molecular scale.
- Magnetic hysteresis: a property of magnets that allows magnetic memory and hence information storage
- Quantum tunnelling: a quantum process that allows systems to pass through energy barriers