Foundations of Molecular Nanospintronics

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: London Centre for Nanotechnology

Abstract

Traditional electronics exploits the charge degree of freedom of carriers in metals, semiconductors, and superconductors to construct a broad range of omnipresent devices, with applications ranging from computation and transmission of data to sensing of biological material. In the past two decades, we have begun to take advantage of the magnetic degree of freedom that is also inherently found in these carriers. Often referred to as spintronics , technology based on the interplay between charge and spin offers revolutionary new functionality including non-volatility in data storage, higher sensitivity in sensors, and improved performance in the consumption of energy. The first generation of spintronic devices based on magnetic and non-magnetic metal heterostructures has already had significant commercial impact with the introduction of GMR-based read heads, and promises continued success with the development of new MRAM devices.Recent advances in scanning probe microscopy have enabled us to explore these systems at the single atom scale. The goal of this proposal is to gain an understanding of the electronic, magnetic, and structural properties of spintronic systems at the molecular level, and use this to develop new types of devices. This timely marriage of the nascent discipline of spintronics with the power and flexibility of organic chemical synthesis would enable a step-change reduction in device dimensions and extend functionality to unconventional (e.g. flexible) structural and low-cost environments.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Throughout our studies, we have explored how the magnetic properties of molecules can be influenced by their interaction with each other and with an underlying surface. In particular, we have found that by modifying this coupling, it is possible to control the magnetic properties of single magnetic molecules in a variety of different ways.
Exploitation Route The different methodologies that we have developed for controlling the properties of individual magnetic molecules will be useful for others who are designing devices in which the active component is a single magnetic molecule. We have already developed prototype demonstrations of such capabilities, and others will develop more practical implementations.
Sectors Electronics,Energy,Environment

 
Description The findings from this project have stimulated new research into the interactions between individual magnetic molecules and their local environment, particularly how this interaction can be used to control the magnetic properties of the molecule.
Sector Electronics,Energy,Environment
 
Description Exploring complex magnetism at the atomic scale
Amount £65,000 (GBP)
Organisation SPECS Surface Nano Analysis GmbH 
Sector Private
Country Germany
Start 05/2013 
End 04/2016
 
Description Ringtronics: Single-molecule circuitry for electronics and spintronics
Amount £507,855 (GBP)
Funding ID RPG-2012-754 
Organisation The Leverhulme Trust 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2013 
End 02/2016
 
Title Controlling electronic access to the spin excitations of a single molecule in a tunnel junction 
Description STM data related to the paper: Controlling electronic access to the spin excitations of a single molecule in a tunnel junction Ben Warner, Fadi El Hallak, Henning Prüser, Afolabi Ajibade, Tobias Gill, Andrew J Fisher, Mats Persson, and Cyrus F Hirjibehedin Nanoscale (2017) 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None to date. 
URL http://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3699211
 
Title Metallic atomically-thin layered silicon epitaxially grown on silicene/ZrB2 
Description STM data used in the referenced paper: Metallic atomically-thin layered silicon epitaxially grown on silicene/ZrB2 Tobias G. Gill, Antoine Fleurence, Ben Warner, Henning Prüser, Rainer Friedlein, Jerzy T. Sadowski, Cyrus F. Hirjibehedin and Yukiko Yamada-Takamura 2D Materials 4, 021015 (2017) 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None to date. 
URL http://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3688366
 
Title Sub-molecular modulation of a 4f driven Kondo resonance by surface-induced asymmetry 
Description Data files for experimental and DFT calculations in paper Sub-molecular modulation of a 4f driven Kondo resonance by surface-induced asymmetry Nature Communications 7, 12785 (2016) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12785 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None to date. 
URL http://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3383038
 
Description Advance Microscopy Laboratory 
Organisation Trinity College Dublin
Department Advanced Microscopy Laboratory
Country Ireland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developed collaboration with the group of David Serrate at the Advanced Microscopy Laboratory at the University of Zaragoza in Spain to study magnetic interactions at the atomic scale.
Start Year 2011
 
Description CNRS and Universite de Bordeaux 
Organisation National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS)
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Developed collaboration with the group of Patrick Rosa at the CNRS and Universite de Bordeaux in France to study spin crossover molecules at the atomic scale.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Free University of Berlin 
Organisation Free University of Berlin
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developed collaboration with the groups of Jose Ignacio Pascual and Katharina Franke at the Free University of Berlin in Germany to study the interactions between magnetic molecules and surfaces with advanced scanning probe techniques.
Start Year 2012
 
Description International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory 
Organisation International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory
Country Portugal 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Developed collaboration with the group of Joaquin Fernandez Rossier at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga, Portugal to study magnetic interactions at the atomic scale.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics 
Organisation Max Planck Society
Department Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Developed collaboration with the group of David Jacob at the in Halle, Germany to study magnetic interactions at the atomic scale.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Universita di Firenze 
Organisation University of Florence
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developed collaboration with the group of Roberta Sessoli at the Universita di Firenze in Italy to study magnetic molecules on surfaces using x-ray spectroscopy techniques.
Start Year 2012
 
Description University of Liverpool 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developed collaboration with the group of Mats Persson at the University of Liverpool in the UK to study the properties of magnetic molecules on various surfaces.
Start Year 2012
 
Description University of Nottingham 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Developed collaboration with the group of Joris van Slageren at the University of Nottingham in the UK (now at the University of Stuttgart) to study novel magnetic molecules.
Start Year 2010
 
Title Feynman's Flowers 
Description We have developed a crowdsourcing / citizen science application called "Feynman's Flowers", which allows members of the public to help scientists study the properties of molecules on surfaces. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2012 
Impact The appication has been visited by over 3300 people from 99 countries. 
URL http://crowdcrafting.org/app/feynmanflowers/
 
Description UCL Physics Dragonfly Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact UCL Physics and Headstart hosted a Physics Dragonfly Day even on the 29th March 2011; this is an initiative to encourage more females to continue studying science post-16 and at University. We performed a demonstration about low temperature physics.

Students expressed additional interest in continuing to study science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description feature article in Nature Physics: News and Views 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact News and Views article in Nature Physics highlighting "Control of single-spin magnetic anisotropy by exchange coupling" article published in the same issue.

More people became interested in the interaction of magnetic adsorbates with surfaces.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description guest editor for special issue of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter on Recent Advances in Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Spectroscopy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Guest editors of a special issue of the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter highlight "Recent Advances in Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Spectroscopy".

Provides a review of recent activity in the field of nanospintronics research done by STM.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://iopscience.iop.org/0953-8984/26/39
 
Description public outreach at the Wellcome Collections Miniatures Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Participation in a public event organised by the Wellcome Collection. We explained molecular spintronics, and more broadly nanotechnology research, to many members of the general public who attended the event.

Stimulated interest in nanotechnology in many members of the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012