Molecular Spintronics

Goal: Molecular spintronics is a new field of research that combines the ideas and concepts developed in spintronics with the possibilities offered by molecules to perform electronic functions, to form self-organized nanostructures and to exhibit quantum effects. Its ultimate goals are the creation of new spintronic devices using molecular materials, or in the longer term one or a few molecules in the race toward miniaturization. To reach these goals a coordinated effort of the communities of Spintronics, Molecular Electronics and Molecular Magnetism is needed. These communities are developing a very competitive and high-quality work in Europe in their respective fields. Still, Molecular Spintronics is so new that, for the moment, an initiative to encourage networking of researchers in this field is still lacking. The present proposal intends to fill this gap integrating these communities around a common Action that should serve to consolidate the world-leadership of Europe in this field.

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Project log

Alek Dediu
added a research item
Molecular spintronics has successfully crossed its first decade of life becoming an important player in the race towards the fabrication of next generation spintronic devices. The development and fabrication of spin OLEDs represents one of the key challenges in this area. Indeed, combining spin polarised injection with light emission is expected to establish a quantum control over the statistics of singlet and triplet excitons in the emitting material, enabling a magneto electro optical multifunctionality. This may represent a new route for the increase of light emitting efficiency and, on the other hand, may embody a powerful tool for the investigation of spintronics effects in organic materials. In spite of numerous steps made in this direction, a convincing demonstration of this magnetic quantum control of the light emission has not been accomplished so far. Here, by tailoring the energy level alignment between the frontier orbitals of the organic semiconductor and the electrode work functions, we have prepared a robust spin OLED that shows an increase in the magneto electroluminescence for the antiparallel configuration of the magnetic electrodes, increasing the weight of singlet branch. This result is specially suggestive since for this configuration the total current flowing through the OLED is reduced with respect to that for the parallel configuration due to magnetoresistance effects. Our findings demonstrate that it is possible to inject spin polarised carriers in the frontier electronic orbitals of an organic semiconductor, a question that was still open and debated, beginning the way for a new spintronic control of the OLED emitting efficiency with promising implications in organic optoelectronics and information processing.
Alek Dediu
added 2 research items
A snapshot of electrons crossing a metal/organic interface provides a better understanding of spin filtering and hints at new directions for designing spintronic devices.