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Methods

 

High-frequency Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectroscopy

The combined high-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance (HFEPR) and frequency domain magnetic resonance (FDMR) spectrometer enables us to investigate the magnetic anisotropy of molecular nanomagnets in great detail. The obtained results allow us to understand the origin of magnetic anisotropy, which can be used to develop molecular nanomagnets with improved properties, but also to further fundamental understanding of this phenomenon. In addition, the spectrometer can be used for a range of other applications, ranging from bio-inorganic chemistry to solid state physics. The HFEPR/FDMR spectrometer operates at frequencies from 85 GHz to 1100 GHz with a maximum magnetic field of 17 T. For low loss microwave propagation, a quasi-optical bridge in combination with corrugated waveguides is used. The sample is placed either in a non-resonant cavity or in a Fabry-Pérot (FP) resonator, located in a variable temperature cryostat. The cryostat allows measuring in the temperature range from 1.8 K to 300 K. The measurement is controlled via LabView.

Magnetic Circular Dichroism spectroscopy

The MCD spectrometer, based on an Aviv CD instrument and an Oxford Instruments Spectromag operates at frequencies from 5000 - 40000 cm-1, fields up to 10 T, and temperatures down to 1.5 K. This technique enables us to investigate the magnetic anisotropy of both the molecular nanomagnet itself, and at the same time of the ions that compose the molecular nanomagnet. MCD is the only technique with which this is possible. The obtained results allow us to understand the origin of magnetic anisotropy, which can be used to develop molecular nanomagnets with improved properties, but also to further fundamental understanding of this phenomenon.

Frequency Domain Magnetic resonance spectroscopy

The FDMR spectrometer is used to record high-frequency EPR spectra in the frequency domain in zero or fixed external magnetic field. This method enables the rapid determination of true zero-field splitting parameters.

X-Band EPR spectroscopy

The institute's CW X-band spectrometer is used to characterize samples, but also for in-depth single crystal studies of the magnetic anisotropy of molecular nanomagnets.

Pulsed Q-Band EPR spectroscopy

The institute's pulsed Q-band EPR/ENDOR spectrometer allows us to investigate the spin dynamics of molecular nanomagnets.

Cantilever Torque magnetometry

The effect of a magnetic field on a molecular magnet is measured as a change in capacitance between two plates. In combination with microwave radiation we can use cantilever torque magnetometry to detect and record magnetic resonance spectra.

SQUID magnetometry

We use the SQUID magnetometer to characterize synthesized materials and to study spin couplings and magnetization dynamics. We can also irradiate the sample in situ to investigate light-induced switching behaviour.

Synthesis

We have a spacious 67 m2 synthesis laboratory with four fumehoods. It has everything you'd expect from such a lab. This allows us to make our own materials for our studies, in addition to systems that are provided to us by our collaborators.

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