Jacob Overgaard publishes “Very Important Paper” in Chemistry – A European Journal

Title: Mapping the magnetic anisotropy at the atomic scale in dysprosium single molecule magnets

09.10.2018 | Susan Hjort Skyum


Molecular magnetic anisotropy is thought to be a main driver of the slow magnetic relaxation of molecular magnets. With traditional magnets, the bulk anisotropy can be measured with macroscopic techniques, but for all crystal space groups but the triclinic ones, the molecular anisotropy cannot be recovered from the bulk anisotropy. Neutron diffraction provides a microscopic probe for the magnetic anisotropy of individual molecules. In this paper, we used polarized neutron diffraction on single crystals to map the anisotropy of the magnetic susceptibility of two lanthanide-based molecular magnets. Our results show that the direction of the magnetic easy-axis corresponds well to that proposed by an earlier theory and provide confidence in the technique being applied to study more complicated systems.

Figure caption

Polarized neutron diffraction gives different peak intensities depending on the polarization of the neutron beam. The ratio between the intensities makes it possible to refine the different ionic contributions to the anisotropic unit cell susceptibility. This provides unique access to the susceptibility of the individual molecules in the unit cell.

Link to paper



Emil A. Klahn, Chen Gao, Beatrice Gillon, Arsen Gukasov, Xavier Fabrèges, Ross O. Piltz, Shang-Da Jiang, Jacob Overgaard

Institut for Kemi, Medarbejdere, Offentligheden / Pressen