Spins in Rings: New Chemistry and Physics with Molecular Wheels

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Robert Woolfson

Abstract

This thesis explores the synthesis and characterisation of a range of molecular wheels containing unpaired electron spins. These molecular spin systems are of considerable interest, both for the insight they provide into the physics of such systems and for their potential as quantum bits ("qubits") in a quantum information processing device. In particular, this thesis explores using these wheels to meet criteria 1 and 5 of the DiVincenzo criteria.The synthesis of a novel homometallic and nonametallic ring of CrIII ions is introduced, along with extensive physical characterisation. Inelastic Neutron Scattering measurements suggest that the molecule has an almost degenerate S = 1/2 ground state with only 0.1 meV separation, making this ring a near perfect example of a Type I frustrated spin system.Chemical modification of the heterometallic {Cr7M} family of wheels with both hard and soft Lewis base functionality is also explored. Using a triphenylphosphine derivative, the coordination chemistry of a highly sterically hindered mono-substituted triphenylphosphine derivative with gold is explored, yielding new arrangements of the wheels. Changes in the electronic and steric properties of the system are studied by a combination of 31P NMR spectroscopy and DFT modelling, revealing dramatic changes in the phosphorus donor properties.The effect of this ligand substitution on the anisotropy tensor of CoII contained in a heterometallic {Cr7Co} ring is explored using variable temperature 1H NMR spectroscopy. Using a combination of the experimentally observed 1H NMR dipolar shifts and computational modelling, a significant change in the anisotropy tensor of the cobalt is found.Finally, as part of a g-engineering approach to qubit design the chemistry of the octametallic {Cr7Ni} ring functionalised with triphenylphosphine oxide is introduced. Initial efforts towards developing a hybrid {Cr7Ni}2Ln (Ln = Gd, Eu) qubit system, along with characterisation by EPR and luminescence spectroscopy, suggest that this may be a route to developing a qubit with the capacity for optical control of the communication.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date31 Dec 2016