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  1. Abstract

    Adding Fe3O4nanoparticles to composites of [Fe(Htrz)2(trz)](BF4) spin-crossover polymer and polyaniline (PANI) drives a phase separation of both and restores the molecular structure and cooperative effects of the spin-crossover polymer without compromising the increased conductivity gained through the addition of PANI. We observe an increased on-off ratio for the DC conductivity owing to an enlarged off state resistivity and a 20 times larger AC conductivity of the on state compared with DC values. The Fe3O4nanoparticles, primarily confined to the [Fe(Htrz)2(trz)](BF4) phase, are ferromagnetically coupled to the local moment of the spin-crossover molecule suggesting the existence of an exchange interaction between both components.

     
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  2. Spin crossover complexes are a route toward designing molecular devices with a facile readout due to the change in conductance that accompanies the change in spin state. Because substrate effects are important for any molecular device, there are increased efforts to characterize the influence of the substrate on the spin state transition. Several classes of spin crossover molecules deposited on different types of surface, including metallic and non-metallic substrates, are comprehensively reviewed here. While some non-metallic substrates like graphite seem to be promising from experimental measurements, theoretical and experimental studies indicate that 2D semiconductor surfaces will have minimum interaction with spin crossover molecules. Most metallic substrates, such as Au and Cu, tend to suppress changes in spin state and affect the spin state switching process due to the interaction at the molecule–substrate interface that lock spin crossover molecules in a particular spin state or mixed spin state. Of course, the influence of the substrate on a spin crossover thin film depends on the molecular film thickness and perhaps the method used to deposit the molecular film. 
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  3. Abstract

    In this work, we provide clear evidence of magnetic anisotropy in the local orbital moment of a molecular thin film based on the SCO complex [Fe(H2B(pz)2)2(bipy)] (pz = pyrazol−1−yl, bipy = 2,2′−bipyridine). Field dependent x-ray magnetic circular dichroism measurements indicate that the magnetic easy axis for the orbital moment is along the surface normal direction. Along with the presence of a critical field, our observation points to the existence of an anisotropic energy barrier in the high-spin state. The estimated nonzero coupling constant of ∼2.47 × 10−5eV molecule−1indicates that the observed magnetocrystalline anisotropy is mostly due to spin–orbit coupling. The spin- and orbital-component anisotropies are determined to be 30.9 and 5.04 meV molecule−1, respectively. Furthermore, the estimatedgfactor in the range of 2.2–2.45 is consistent with the expected values. This work has paved the way for an understanding of the spin-state-switching mechanism in the presence of magnetic perturbations.

     
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  4. We review the current understanding of the time scale and mechanisms associated with the change in spin state in transition metal-based spin crossover (SCO) molecular complexes. Most time resolved experiments, performed by optical techniques, rely on the intrinsic light-induced switching properties of this class of materials. The optically driven spin state transition can be mediated by a rich interplay of complexities including intermediate states in the spin state transition process, as well as intermolecular interactions, temperature, and strain. We emphasize here that the size reduction down to the nanoscale is essential for designing SCO systems that switch quickly as well as possibly retaining the memory of the light-driven state. We argue that SCO nano-sized systems are the key to device applications where the “write” speed is an important criterion. 
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  5. From X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS), it is evident that the spin state transition behavior of Fe( ii ) spin crossover coordination polymer crystallites at the surface differs from the bulk. A comparison of four different coordination polymers reveals that the observed surface properties may differ from bulk for a variety of reasons. There are Fe( ii ) spin crossover coordination polymers with either almost complete switching of the spin state at the surface or no switching at all. Oxidation, differences in surface packing, and changes in coordination could all contribute to making the surface very different from the bulk. Some Fe( ii ) spin crossover coordination polymers may be sufficiently photoactive so that X-ray spectroscopies cannot discern the spin state transition. 
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  6. The [Co(SQ) 2 (4-CN-py) 2 ] complex exhibits dynamical effects over a wide range of temperature. The orbital moment, determined by X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) with decreasing applied magnetic field, indicates a nonzero critical field for net alignment of magnetic moments, an effect not seen with the spin moment of [Co(SQ) 2 (4-CN-py) 2 ]. 
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  7. The X-ray-induced spin crossover transition of an Fe (II) molecular thin film in the presence and absence of a magnetic field has been investigated. The thermal activation energy barrier in the soft X-ray activation of the spin crossover transition for [Fe{H2B(pz)2}2(bipy)] molecular thin films is reduced in the presence of an applied magnetic field, as measured through X-ray absorption spectroscopy at various temperatures. The influence of a 1.8 T magnetic field is sufficient to cause deviations from the expected exponential spin state transition behavior which is measured in the field free case. We find that orbital moment diminishes with increasing temperature, relative to the spin moment in the vicinity of room temperature. 
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  8. Future molecular microelectronics require the electronic conductivity of the device to be tunable without impairing the voltage control of the molecular electronic properties. This work reports the influence of an interface between a semiconducting polyaniline polymer or a polar poly-D-lysine molecular film and one of two valence tautomeric complexes, i.e. , [Co III (SQ)(Cat)(4-CN-py) 2 ] ↔ [Co II (SQ) 2 (4-CN-py) 2 ] and [Co III (SQ)(Cat)(3-tpp) 2 ] ↔ [Co II (SQ) 2 (3-tpp) 2 ]. The electronic transitions and orbitals are identified using X-ray photoemission, X-ray absorption, inverse photoemission, and optical absorption spectroscopy measurements that are guided by density functional theory. Except for slightly modified binding energies and shifted orbital levels, the choice of the underlying substrate layer has little effect on the electronic structure. A prominent unoccupied ligand-to-metal charge transfer state exists in [Co III (SQ)(Cat)(3-tpp) 2 ] ↔ [Co II (SQ) 2 (3-tpp) 2 ] that is virtually insensitive to the interface between the polymer and tautomeric complexes in the Co II high-spin state. 
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