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Molecular memory near room temperature in an iron polyanionic complex

In this paper, which is a collaboration between three research groups from international institutions, researchers found a polyanionic iron complex capable of showing memory effect even upon dilution. This is an unprecedented fact because although single molecules are the smallest processable units for information storage and sensing, molecular phenomena are typically limited to very low temperatures.

However, the results demonstrate that molecular species can exhibit thermal hysteresis if intramolecular interactions are able to slow down the relaxation processes at the single-molecule level. These findings open unprecedented opportunities for single-molecule memories at (and above) room temperature.

It is a new way of storing multifunctional information (optical or magnetic) and its potential technological impact includes molecular bits for quantum computing.

The computational analysis was led by Prof. Eliseo Ruiz with the collaboration of Ramon y Cajal Researcher Jordi Cirera. They identified the origin of this novel phenomenon of slow relaxation process.

Reference article : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2451929422004983