Direct Imaging of Isolated Single-Molecule Magnets in Metal–Organic Frameworks

Darpandeep Aulakh, Lingmei Liu, Juby R. Varghese, Haomiao Xie, Timur Islamoglu, Kyle Duell, Chung-Wei Kung, Chia-En Hsiung, Yuxin Zhang, Riki J. Drout, Omar K. Farha, Kim R. Dunbar, Yu Han, Mario Wriedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Practical applications involving the magnetic bistability of single-molecule magnets (SMMs) for next-generation computer technologies require nanostructuring, organization, and protection of nanoscale materials in two- or three-dimensional networks, to enable read-and-write processes. Owing to their porous nature and structural long-range order, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been proposed as hosts to facilitate these efforts. Although probing the channels of MOF composites using indirect methods is well established, the use of direct methods to elucidate fundamental structural information is still lacking. Herein we report the direct imaging of SMMs encapsulated in a mesoporous MOF matrix using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. These images deliver, for the first time, direct and unambiguous evidence to support the adsorption of molecular guests within the porous host. Bulk magnetic measurements further support the successful nanostructuring of SMMs. The preparation of the first magnetic composite thin films of this kind furthers the development of molecular spintronics.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2997-3005
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 14 2019

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FCC/1/1972-34
Acknowledgements: M.W. gratefully acknowledges Clarkson University for their generous start-up funding. We also acknowledge the support of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce, in providing the neutron research facilities used in this work, and we thank Julie Borchers for designing and performing PNR experiments. The magnetic measurements were conducted in the Department of Chemistry SQUID Facility at Texas A&M University with a magnetometer obtained by a grant from the National Science Foundation (CHE-9974899). The magnetic work in this study was performed by the K.R.D. group and was funded by the Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy through Grant DE-FG02-02ER45999. Y.H. thanks the support from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology through center competitive fund (FCC/1/1972-34), and O.K.F. gratefully acknowledges support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (HDTRA1-18-1-0003).


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