Nitronyl nitroxide radicals at the interface: a hybrid architecture for spintronics
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Cross-fertilization between molecular magnetism and organic spintronics is leading to the development of concepts based on the use of molecules as active elements to influence spin-related transport processes. The research on hybrid devices, where the magnetic molecules in contact with the electrodes influence the spin and charge injection and transport, is moving its first steps but is expected to quickly expand the technological potential of molecular spintronics and quantum computing. New exciting possibilities, linked to the individual properties of these molecular units and to their interaction with novel substrates, are getting disclosed. The chemical functionalization of these molecules is the tool which allows to tune their electronic and magnetic properties and to directly create these hybrid architectures. However, the coupling of molecules with the spin transport phenomena is far from being trivial. First, the stability of molecules in the device environment must be tested and, subsequently, the organization of molecules in the desired architectures must be mastered permitting a careful control of the interactions between inorganic substrates and molecular layers. Here we summarize how this research activity can be developed in the case of one of the simplest magnetic molecules, an organic radical. We will start from an innocent surface, such as gold, to move then toward a real-device environment. We evidence how these efforts can result in a surface-specific molecular-based method to influence the spin injection and transport phenomena, paving the way for developing new devices in which a fine-tuning of magnetic features is required.
KeywordsOrganic radicals Nitronyl nitroxide Nanostructured layers Molecular magnetism Molecular spintronics
Authors acknowledge the many collaborators that have made possible the research here briefly summarized. In particular, we want to thank the groups of Dr. A. Dediu (ISMN-CNR, Bologna), Dr. S. Picozzi (SPIN-CNR, L’Aquila), Prof. G. Maruccio (University of Salento), Prof. A. Magnani (University of Siena) and the Italian MIUR that funded part of the activities we described here within the FIRB project RBAP117RWN.