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Metals in the Square: Towards Molecular Switching Units

Mario Ruben*, a, Jean-Marie Lehnb, Esther Breuningb, Franz Renzc, Vadim Ksonofontovc, Philipp Guetlichc, Jean-Paul Giesselbrechtd

aResearch Centre Karlsruhe, Institute for Nanotechnology,
Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuertemberg D-76021 GERMANY

bISIS-ULP Strasbourg
cIAAC University Mainz
dULP Strasbourg

This is an abstract for a presentation given at the
Ninth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.
There will be a link from here to the full article when it is available on the web.


The search for high-density information storage devices induces an increasing interest in molecules exhibiting bi- or multistable behaviour. Bi- or Multistability can be achieved by exploiting changes in intrinsic molecular properties such as spin or redox states. Furthermore, it has been shown that low-dimensional molecular systems of transition metals with exactly four metal ions organized in a square-like fashion are accessible by spontaneous self-assembly [1]. In addition, such tetrameric complexes can be deposited as monolayers on graphite and single molecules (2.5 nm x 2.5 nm) can be manipulated by means of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) [2]. Series of novel M4II complexes were synthesized and their magnetic and electrochemical properties investigated. The magnetic moment of the Fe4II can be switched over a range of different magnetic levels using three external triggers (temperature, pressure, light). The analogous Co4II complex has been found to undergo eleven electron reduction in ten well-resolved reversible steps [3]. The reduced species exhibit a remarkable stability in solution.


[1] E. Breuning, M. Ruben, J.-M. Lehn, F.Renz, Y. Garcia, V. Ksenofontov, P. Gütlich, E. Wegelius, K. Rissanen; Angew.Chem.Int.Ed. Engl.39, 2000, 2504-2507

[2] A. Semenow, J.P. Spatz, M. Möller, J.-M. Lehn, B. Sell, D. Schubert, C. H. Weidl, U. S. Schubert; Angew.Chem.Int.Ed. Engl.38, 1999, 2547-2550

[3] M.Ruben, E. Breuning, J.-M. Lehn, J.-P. Giesselbrecht, Angew.Chem.Int.Ed. Engl.39, 2000, 4139-4142

*Corresponding Address:
Mario Ruben
Research Centre Karlsruhe, Institute for Nanotechnology
P.O. BOX 3640, Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuertemberg D-76021 GERMANY
phone: +49-(0)7247826781
fax: +49-(0)7247826434


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