The central theme of the research work in the Rentschler group is the synthesis and characterization of new coordination compounds whose magnetic properties are of purely molecular origin. To access nanomagnets, coordination chemistry offers an abundant "construction kit" of ligands and metal ions. In particular, multinuclear transition metal compounds are of interest to our group. For compounds consisting of multiple paramagnetic spin centers, systematic modification of the spin topology allows the electronic and magnetic properties of the resulting coordination cluster to be altered. In addition to the study of purely molecular systems, the construction of supramolecular hybrid materials from molecular devices is of interest. Especially with respect to the addressability of molecular magnetic systems, questions concerning the spatial resolution of electron and spin densities are of increasing importance for the working group. Important investigations in this area are carried out in collaboration with physicists from the University of Mainz and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern.

Current projects of the group are:

  • Metallacrowns as single-molecule magnets
  • Spin exchange interaction and spin transport between molecular systems on magnetic surfaces
  • Study of interfaces between SMMs and metallic surfaces: 'hybrid-interface' and 'spinterface'
  • Metallacrown immobilization on TiO2 and Fe3O4 nanoparticles
  • Cooperativity studies in spin-crossover compounds of different nuclearity

Data storage, quantum computing, and spin-based electronics are three of the most attractive applications for molecular systems since the phenomenon of slow magnetic relaxation was discovered for discrete molecules. In this context, interest in studies of molecular magnetism has been growing unabated across disciplinary boundaries for the past three decades. Our group has been working at the interface between chemistry and physics for many years. We are already in our second funding period as the only synthetically oriented group working successfully in the SFB/TRR "Spin+X" with physics groups from Mainz and Kaiserslautern. In addition, we are of course interested in collaborations with scientific groups worldwide that have scientifically complementary expertise.

In order to classify our current work into two major foci, the synthetic/preparative orientation of the working group is suitable. While one part of the group synthesizes metal crown complexes, the other part of the group deals with spin transition compounds. In both foci, besides the synthesis, the characterization of the compounds with respect to their electronic and magnetic properties is in the foreground, as well as the investigations of cooperative properties and magnetic couplings to the environment.