Russian chemists have synthesized unusual molecular crystals with switchable physical properties

Chemists from the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry. N.S. Kurnakov Institute of Organoelement Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences A.N. Nesmeyanov Russian Academy of Sciences, the Kurchatov Institute and the International Tomographic Center synthesized a new air-stable cobalt compound that reversibly changes its magnetic properties and crystal structure under the influence of temperature. This compound has the properties of monoionic magnets – materials based on them can be used to create molecular sensors and fundamentally new information storage devices. The article was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.


The development of molecular materials whose physical properties can be controlled by external influences such as light, electric field, temperature and pressure has recently attracted much attention due to their potential application in molecular devices – quantum computers, sensors, and ultra-dense information storage systems. Such high-tech materials are based on coordination or organometallic compounds.

Scientists from the IGIC RAS ​​proposed to place a molecule with a long carbon skeleton in the environment of cobalt, the mobility of which can lead to a change in the structure of the entire molecule and its magnetic properties.

“The problem of synthesis and isolation of single crystals of a new substance was solved. Determining its structure, we found that under the influence of temperature the molecular structure of the compound changes, while the crystallinity is preserved. By changing the environment of the cobalt ion, we have obtained an effective tool for controlling the physical properties of the material,” says Dmitry Yambulatov, Ph.D.

The authors believe that the use of non-rigid organic molecules in the creation of switchable materials can be used as an additional tool in fine-tuning their physical properties.

The work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (No. 075-15-2020-779).

Author :  Indicator.Ru

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