Studies of a Large Odd-Numbered Odd-Electron Metal Ring: Inelastic Neutron Scattering and Muon Spin Relaxation Spectroscopy of Cr8Mn

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  • External authors:
  • T. Lancaster
  • A. Chiesa
  • G. Amoretti
  • P.J. Baker
  • C. Barker
  • S.J. Blundell
  • S. Carretta
  • David Collison
  • H.U. Guedel
  • T. Guidi
  • J.S. Moeller
  • H. Mutka
  • J. Ollivier
  • F.L. Pratt
  • P. Santini
  • P.L. Tregenna-Piggott
  • Inigo Vitorica-Yrezabal
  • Grigore Timco


The spin dynamics of Cr8Mn, a nine-membered antiferromagnetic (AF) molecular nanomagnet, are investigated. Cr8Mn is a rare example of a large odd-membered AF ring, and has an odd-number of 3d-electrons present. Odd-membered AF rings are unusual and of interest due to the presence of competing exchange interactions that result in frustrated-spin ground states. The chemical synthesis and structures of two Cr8Mn variants that differ only in their crystal packing are reported. Evidence of spin frustration is investigated by inelastic neutron scattering (INS) and muon spin relaxation spectroscopy (μSR). From INS studies we accurately determine an appropriate microscopic spin Hamiltonian and we show that μSR is sensitive to the ground-spin-state crossing from S=1/2 to S=3/2 in Cr8Mn. The estimated width of the muon asymmetry resonance is consistent with the presence of an avoided crossing. The investigation of the internal spin structure of the ground state, through the analysis of spin-pair correlations and scalar-spin chirality, shows a non-collinear spin structure that fluctuates between non-planar states of opposite chiralities.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1779–1788
JournalChemistry: A European Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 2016