Influence of the ligand shell on the surface orientation of Mn12 single molecule magnets

M. Fonin, S. Voss, S. Herr, G. de Loubens, A. D. Kent, M. Burgert, U. Groth, U. Rüdiger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Here we report the synthesis, investigation as well as surface deposition of a truly axial symmetry Mn12-diphenylphosphinate (Mn12-phn) single molecule magnet. Out of 16 acetate ligands encapsulating the Mn12O12 core, 12 ligands were exchanged by diphenylphosphinate in this compound. Mn12-phn shows well-defined magnetic hysteresis curves indicating a very high crystal quality. A monolayer of Mn12-phn was chemically grafted on a functionalized Au(1 1 1) surface via ligand exchange reaction and studied by means of scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy. Via distance-voltage spectroscopy we determine the real-space height of the Mn12-phn molecules with high accuracy. A large spread in the measured molecular heights obtained from the distance-voltage spectra indicates the absence of preferential orientation of Mn12-phn molecules with respect to the surface which we attribute to the equal anchoring probability of all diphenylphosphinate ligands in Mn12-phn while none of the four acetate ligands are exchanged. These results are compared with the experimental data obtained from a different Mn12 derivative containing 16 thiophenecarboxylate ligands. In general, we show that the substitution of the ligand shell may have a major impact on the surface orientation of the Mn12 clusters deposited on Au, i.e. on the orientation of the easy magnetization axis.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1977-1981
    Number of pages5
    Issue number9-10
    StatePublished - Jun 22 2009


    • Mn
    • Single molecule magnets

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
    • Inorganic Chemistry
    • Materials Chemistry


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