Molecular quantum spintronics: supramolecular spin valves based on single-molecule magnets and carbon nanotubes

Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(10):6656-67. doi: 10.3390/ijms12106656. Epub 2011 Oct 10.


We built new hybrid devices consisting of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown carbon nanotube (CNT) transistors, decorated with TbPc(2) (Pc = phthalocyanine) rare-earth based single-molecule magnets (SMMs). The drafting was achieved by tailoring supramolecular π-π interactions between CNTs and SMMs. The magnetoresistance hysteresis loop measurements revealed steep steps, which we can relate to the magnetization reversal of individual SMMs. Indeed, we established that the electronic transport properties of these devices depend strongly on the relative magnetization orientations of the grafted SMMs. The SMMs are playing the role of localized spin polarizer and analyzer on the CNT electronic conducting channel. As a result, we measured magneto-resistance ratios up to several hundred percent. We used this spin valve effect to confirm the strong uniaxial anisotropy and the superparamagnetic blocking temperature (T(B) ~ 1 K) of isolated TbPc(2) SMMs. For the first time, the strength of exchange interaction between the different SMMs of the molecular spin valve geometry could be determined. Our results introduce a new design for operable molecular spintronic devices using the quantum effects of individual SMMs.

Keywords: molecular magnets; molecular quantum spintronics; nanoelectronics devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Magnetics*
  • Nanotechnology / instrumentation
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*
  • Quantum Theory
  • Temperature


  • Nanotubes, Carbon