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Symmetry and epitaxial constrain on molecular magnetic switching

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Income : yes
Possibility to continue with PhD : yes
Funding : EDPIF (doctoral school)

Techniques used : Scanning tunneling microscopy, grazing x-ray diffraction (synchrotron techniques )
Requirements : solid basis in condensed matter physics ; interest for experiments

Spin crossover complexes present the amazing property to switch between two spin states by external stimuli such as light, pressure or temperature. This makes them promising molecules for development of new and innovative spintronic devices. Their incorporation in actual devices needs a deep understanding of the spin crossover property of molecules once adsorbed on metallic surfaces and down to the single molecular level. Indeed, surprislingly, we demonstrate that once on a metallic substrate both molecular spin states can co-exist in contraste to the bulk behavior [BAI16]. For the photo-excitation, the nature of the substrate is playing a fundamental role in the underling mechanism [ZHA20].

The objective of this intership, that can be followed by a PhD, will be to control the self-assembly of spin crossover molecules along with their spin state by the substrate symmetry (use of Cu(110) or Cu(001) substrates) or by using vicinal substrates that acte as a template for the molecular growth (e.g. Cu(322)). For this purpose, two complementary technics will be used. By scanning tunneling microsopy (STM), the self-assembly, the electronic properties and the light excitation of the molecules will be investigated at the molecular level. For their part, grazing incidence x-ray diffraction measurements will enable to determine the epitaxial relationship between the molecular layer and the substrate.

[BAI16] K. Bairagi et al., Nat. Commun., 7, 12212 (2016)
[ZHA20] L. Zhang et al., Angew. Chemie Int. Ed., 59, 13341 (2020)

Post-scriptum :

Responsable(s) du stage/PhD thesis : Amandine Bellec, Yves Garreau
Téléphone : 01 57 27 62 90
e-mail :,