Total control over the electronic structure in molecular nanomagnets is the ultimate goal in the design of molecules with realizable applications in spin-based devices. Single-ion lanthanide systems are the most promising candidates for the next generation of single molecule magnets due to their exceptionally pronounced magnetic anisotropy . We investigated the electronic structure and magnetic properties of a family of mononuclear lanthanide complexes using an unprecedented combination of inelastic neutron scattering and single crystal cantilever torque magnetometry. The complementary information provided by these techniques was used to fully unravel the interplay between symmetry and magnetism. Indeed, we experimentally demonstrated that a threefold reduction of the undesirable tunnel splitting in a dysprosium single molecule magnet can be obtained by modifying the molecular symmetry . Moreover, we discovered a class of molecules that can switch magnetic anisotropy simply controlling external stimuli like magnetic field and temperature .
Dr. Markos Skoulatos