Chemical strategies and characterization tools for the organization of single molecule magnets on surfaces

Chem Soc Rev. 2011 Jun;40(6):3076-91. doi: 10.1039/c0cs00187b. Epub 2011 Mar 14.


Addressing individual bistable magnetic molecules, known as Single Molecule Magnets (SMMs), is a fascinating goal at the borderline between molecular magnetism and spin electronics. This tutorial review focuses on the first step towards single-molecule experiments, namely the organization of SMMs on surfaces. Both preparation and characterization of surface-supported SMMs prove to be quite demanding and a multidisciplinary approach is necessary, which is described here using selected examples. We first illustrate the chemical strategies devised to assemble SMMs and to control their orientation on surfaces. Then, we present characterization tools, which have been selected on the basis of their relevance to address specific points, i.e. the chemical composition of the deposited SMM films, the organization of the molecules on the surface, the intramolecular arrangement of the spins, the magnetic anisotropy of SMMs, and eventually the dynamics of their magnetization on surfaces. Particular attention is devoted to techniques exploiting synchrotron light.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gold / chemistry
  • Magnetics*
  • Silicon / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Surface Properties


  • Gold
  • Silicon