Magnetic molecules are regarded as promising functional units for the future of information processing. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Peter Grünberg Institute and RWTH Aachen University were the first to produce particularly robust magnetic molecules that enable a direct electrical readout of magnetic information. This was made possible by selecting the rare earth metal neodymium as the central building block of the molecule. The image shows thetip of a scanning tunnelling microscope (above), which the researchers use to conduct electric current through a magnetic double-decker molecule placed on a copper layer (below). A neodymium atom (red) is located at the centre of the molecule.
Original publication: Accessing 4f-states in single-molecule spintronics; S. Fahrendorf et al.; Nature Communications, published online 24 September 2013, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3425,Article