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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. For the spin crossover coordination polymer [Fe(L1)(bipy)] n (where L1 is a N 2 O 2 2− coordinating Schiff base-like ligand bearing a phenazine fluorophore and bipy = 4,4′-bipyridine), there is compelling additional evidence of a spin state transition. Both Fe 2p X-ray absorption and X-ray core level photoemission spectroscopies confirm that a spin crossover takes place, as observed by magnetometry. Yet the details of the temperature dependent changes of the spin state inferred from both X-ray absorption and X-ray core level photoemission, differ from magnetometry, particularly with regard to the apparent critical transition temperatures and the cooperative nature of the curve progression in general. Comparing the experimental spin crossover data to Ising model simulations, a transition activation energy in the region of 160 to 175 meV is indicated, along with a nonzero exchange J . Overall, the implication is that there may be perturbations to the bistability of spin states, that are measurement dependent or that the surface differs from the bulk with regard to the cooperative effects observed upon spin transition.
  4. Nonvolatile, molecular multiferroic devices have now been demonstrated, but it is worth giving some consideration to the issue of whether such devices could be a competitive alternative for solid-state nonvolatile memory. For the Fe (II) spin crossover complex [Fe{H2B(pz)2}2(bipy)], where pz = tris(pyrazol-1-yl)-borohydride and bipy = 2,2′-bipyridine, voltage-controlled isothermal changes in the electronic structure and spin state have been demonstrated and are accompanied by changes in conductance. Higher conductance is seen with [Fe{H2B(pz)2}2(bipy)] in the high spin state, while lower conductance occurs for the low spin state. Plausibly, there is the potential here for low-cost molecular solid-state memory because the essential molecular thin films are easily fabricated. However, successful device fabrication does not mean a device that has a practical value. Here, we discuss the progress and challenges yet facing the fabrication of molecular multiferroic devices, which could be considered competitive to silicon.