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Molecular Nanomagnets

Speaker: Myriam Sarachik, City University of New York
Date & Time: October 3, 2006 - 1:30pm
Location: Serin 385E

Molecular Nanomagnets
Physics and Astronomy

Myriam Sarachik, City University of New York
1:30pm Serin 385E

Molecular magnets, sometimes referred to as single molecule magnets, are organic crystals containing a very large (Avogadro's) number of magnetic molecules that are nominally identical, providing ideal laboratories for the study of nanoscale magnetic phenomena. With molecular clusters of large total spin (10 or higher), their behavior straddles the border between classical and quantum magnetism. The molecules are magnetically bistable at low temperatures, exhibit macroscopic quantum tunneling between up- and down-spin orientations, and demonstrate quantum interference between tunneling paths. Interest in these materials has grown dramatically in the last several years, owing to their potential use for high-density information storage, as well as the possibility that they could provide the qubits needed for quantum computation. Typical behavior of the class will be examined by considering Mn12-acetate, a particularly simple prototype. The talk will end with a brief description of our recent discovery of magnetic “deflagration”, a phenomenon closely analogous to the propagation of a flame front through a flammable chemical substance.

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