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Preparation of monolayers of [MnIII 6CrIII]3+ single-molecule magnets on HOPG, mica and silicon surfaces and characterization by means of non-contact AFM

Aaron Gryzia1, Hans Predatsch1, Armin Brechling1*, Veronika Hoeke2, Erich Krickemeyer2, Christine Derks3, Manfred Neumann3, Thorsten Glaser2 and Ulrich Heinzmann1

Author Affiliations

1 Molecular and Surface Physics, Faculty of Physics, Bielefeld University, Universitaetsstrasse 25, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany

2 Inorganic Chemistry I, Faculty of Chemistry, Bielefeld University, Universitaetsstrasse 25, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany

3 Electron Spectroscopy, Faculty of Physics, Osnabrueck University, Barbarastrasse 7, 49069 Osnabrueck, Germany

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:486  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-486

Published: 8 August 2011


We report on the characterization of various salts of [MnIII6CrIII]3+ complexes prepared on substrates such as highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG), mica, SiO2, and Si3N4. [MnIII6CrIII]3+ is a single-molecule magnet, i.e., a superparamagnetic molecule, with a blocking temperature around 2 K. The three positive charges of [MnIII6CrIII]3+ were electrically neutralized by use of various anions such as tetraphenylborate (BPh4-), lactate (C3H5O3-), or perchlorate (ClO4-). The molecule was prepared on the substrates out of solution using the droplet technique. The main subject of investigation was how the anions and substrates influence the emerging surface topology during and after the preparation. Regarding HOPG and SiO2, flat island-like and hemispheric-shaped structures were created. We observed a strong correlation between the electronic properties of the substrate and the analyzed structures, especially in the case of mica where we observed a gradient in the analyzed structures across the surface.