The chemical synthesis and characterization of the first hybrid material composed by gold nanoparticles and single molecule magnets (SMMs) are described. Gold nanoparticles are functionalized via ligand exchange using a tetrairon(III) SMM containing two 1,2-dithiolane end groups. The grafting is evidenced by the shift of the plasmon resonance peak recorded with a UV-vis spectrometer, by the suppression of nuclear magnetic resonance signals, by X-ray photoemission spectroscopy peaks, and by transmission electron microscopy images. The latter evidence the formation of aggregates of nanoparticles as a consequence of the cross-linking ability of Fe4 through the two 1,2-dithiolane rings located on opposite sides of the metal core. The presence of intact Fe4 molecules is directly proven by synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy, while a detailed magnetic characterization, obtained using electron paramagnetic resonance and alternating-current susceptibility, confirms the persistence of SMM behavior in this new hybrid nanostructure.
Keywords: nanomagnetism; nanoparticles; single-molecule magnets; spintronics; synchrotron-radiation.
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