X-ray absorption and magnetic circular dichroism investigation of bis(phthalocyaninato)terbium single-molecule magnets deposited on graphite

R. Biagi, J. Fernandez-Rodriguez, M. Gonidec, A. Mirone, V. Corradini, F. Moro, V. De Renzi, U. Del Pennino, J. C. Cezar, D. B. Amabilino, J. Veciana

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    Bisphthalocyaninato terbium complexes show a long magnetization relaxation time at relatively high temperatures-which makes them very interesting as magnets at single-molecule level. Their technological exploitation, however, requires the addressing of the individual molecules, therefore the deposition of single-molecule magnets on surfaces is a topic of great interest as the interaction with the substrate can play a crucial role in the definition of the molecule properties. In this work we investigate the electronic and magnetic properties of anionic and neutral forms of a bis(phthalocyaninato)terbium derivative deposited on graphite by means of x-ray absorption spectroscopy and x-ray magnetic circular dichroism, performed at low temperature and high magnetic field at the M4,5 edge of Tb. We were able to reproduce the experimental spectra by means of multiplet calculations and to validate the applicability of sum rules to the present case. Sum rules were then used for determining the orbital and spin moments of thick (several monolayers) and of thin films (submonolayer range). Calculations of spectra as a function of the molecule orientation with respect to the impinging x-ray beam, allowed us to ascertain the adsorption geometry of molecules. For both compounds, molecules stay essentially flat when adsorbing as thin film on graphite. This result is also confirmed by scanning probe microscopy, which also finds a very interesting ordered arrangement for the molecules of the neutral form. In the thick film of the neutral compound the molecules keep the same orientational order, arranging almost flat as well. On the contrary, in the thick film of the anionic compound their orientation appears to be random. The origin of this different behavior can be related to the hindrance of the counterion moiety and/or to the different solvent used for each compound. Finally, the comparison of the magnetization values and their dependence on the external magnetic field and temperature suggest that the magnetic properties of molecules are preserved when adsorbed onto the graphite surface. © 2010 The American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number224406
    JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2010


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