In this Research at Undergraduate Institution (RUI) project funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamics and Mechanisms-B program of the Chemistry Division, Professor David Brook of the Department of Chemistry at San Jose State University is studying a series of transition metal-containing molecules and materials with switchable magnetic structures. By switching between different magnetic states as a result of external influences such as temperature, light and electrical potential, these molecules and materials may have applications as sensors, and in information storage and molecular computing. High school students, undergraduate students, and master's level graduate students will play a role in the research. They will gain broad experience in experimental chemistry, from organic and inorganic synthesis to the use of numerous analytical techniques including spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, electrochemistry, magnetochemistry, and X-ray crystallography. Students will participate in national and international research collaborations and will have the opportunity to make measurements at major user facilities in the US and Spain.

Transition metal and f-block element coordination compounds of verdazyl radical ligands have the potential to form molecules with labile electronic structures (i.e. the molecule can switch between electronic states that differ in magnetic or other properties). The research involves the exploration and exploitation of this unusual property with several goals in mind. The first goals it o understand the factors in the metal-ligand interaction that give rise to electronic lability, while the second goals is to electronically couple labile ions with conducting counterions to form new materials with novel magnetoresistive behavior. The team will study verdazyl complexes of f block elements (both lanthanides and actinides) in order to develop new single molecule magnets and using principles of self assembly to synthesize and study extended clusters of electronically labile metal centers, exploring the interactions between neighboring metal ions.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Tingyu Li
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San Jose State University Foundation
San Jose
United States
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