Molecular magnetic hysteresis at 60 K in dysprosocenium
Publication Date: 24 August, 2017
Department of: Chemistry
Researchers at the University of Manchester have synthesised a new molecule called dysprosocenium, which can retain magnetic memory up to an unprecedented temperature of 60 K. Individual molecules that possess a permanent magnetic moment, known as single-molecule magnets, could potentially act as bits in high-density data storage devices. However, all examples of single-molecule magnets to date only operate with expensive liquid helium cooling, precluding commercial uptake.
Achieving an operating temperature for dysprosocenium of 60 K is a leap of 46 K from the previous record, which itself represented an advance of only 10 K in 25 years of research effort since the first single-molecule magnet was shown to operate at 4 K in 1993. This is now very close to the temperature of relatively cheap liquid nitrogen (77 K), where the cooling requirements would no longer present an economic barrier, thus making devices a real possibility.
Crucially, the team show that the geometry of the molecule and its unique molecular vibrations are the origin of its fascinating magnetic properties, therefore pointing the way to improvements in the near future.
- Dysprosocenium contains dysprosium, a lanthanide element. Lanthanides are commonly employed for their magnetic properties; e.g. neodymium magnets.
- Dysprosocenium contains two small carbon rings with the dysprosium atom “sandwiched” in between. This design makes it difficult for the dysprosium ion to change the direction of its magnetic moment.
- The rigidity of the small carbon rings is the origin of the high operating temperature.