Molecular Magnetism

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry


The key aims of this student project are to synthesise novel, mixed transition metal complexes and to fully characterise them (techniques including single crystal X-ray diffraction, powder X-ray diffraction, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and others). The primary synthetic target will be magnetically interesting molecular materials by extending a "family" of previously reported heptanuclear mixed metal wheels. As such, magnetic characterisation will be carried out using a SQUID (Superconducting QUantum Interference Device) magnetometer. This data will be analysed and a theoretical model created to fit the data. By investigating a range of related complexes this research seeks to contribute to modern understanding of magneto-structural relationships and aid in the development of a synthetic rationale towards complexes with desirable magnetic properties. One such desirable target are single molecule magnets (SMMs).
SMMs are prophesised to contribute greatly to the second quantum revolution. Due to the quantum nature of their magnetic properties, single molecule magnets are well suited to form the hardware of quantum computers, which can perform calculations in minutes and hours that would take modern, classical computers billions of years.
The synthetic aspect of this project also seeks to synthesise solution-stable magnetic complexes, which yields more technologically applications by facilitating post synthetic modifications and generally increasing their processability. Solution stable multinuclear complexes also have the potential for use in catalysis. Given the large number of metal centres present the complexes to be investigated (ie. 7 metals centres) it is possible they could catalyse the oxidation of water, which is useful to work towards artificial photosynthesis. Therefore, when appropriate the electrochemical properties of these complexes will be studied to assess their suitability to this process.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509644/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2256942 Studentship EP/N509644/1 01/09/2019 31/08/2022 Emily Payne