Magnetism: Molecules to Materials IV
The development, characterization, and technological exploitation of new materials, particularly as components in ‘smart’ systems, are key challenges for chemistry and physics in the next millennium. New substances and composites including nanostructured materials are envisioned for innumerable areas including magnets for the communication and information sector of our economy. Magnets are already an important component of the economy with worldwide sales of approximately $30 billion, twice that of the sales of semiconductors. Hence, research groups worldwide are targeting the preparation and study of new magnets especially in combination with other technologically important properties, e. g., electrical and optical properties.
In the past few years our understanding of magnetic materials, thought to be mature, has enjoyed a renaissance as it is being expanded by contributions from many diverse areas of science and engineering. These include (i) the discovery of bulk ferro- and ferrimagnets based on organic/molecular components with critical temperature exceeding room temperature, (ii) the discovery that clusters in high, but not necessarily the highest, spin states due to a large magnetic anisotropy or zero field splitting have a significant relaxation barrier that traps magnetic flux enabling a single molecule/ion (cluster) to act as a magnet at low temperature; (iii) the discovery of materials exhibiting large, negative magnetization; (iv) spin-crossover materials that can show large hysteretic effects above room temperature; (v) photomagnetic and (vi) electrochemical modulation of the magnetic behavior; (vii) the Haldane conjecture and its experimental realization; (viii) quantum tunneling of magnetization in high spin organic molecules; (viii) giant and (ix) colossal magnetoresistance effects observed for 3-D network solids; (x) the realization of nanosize materials, such as self organized metal-based clusters, dots and wires; (xi) the development of metallic multilayers and the spin electronics for the applications. This important contribution to magnetism and more importantly to science in general will lead us into the next millennium.
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