The Chilton Group

Magnetism, Spectroscopy, Theory

Design of high-temperature single-molecule magnets

The volume of stored digital information is increasing exponentially, and the economic and environmental costs can be mitigated by increasing data densities by orders of magnitude. In place of standard storage media, a simple solution is to store data in individual molecules on the nanoscale: i.e. in single-molecule magnets (SMMs). Molecular data storage could dramatically increase data densities, but memory must persist at economically viable temperatures. We have pioneered approaches for designing some of the best-performing SMMs known, and we are now working to understand in more detail the origins of magnetic relaxation (the process by which magnetic information is lost) to further improve magnetic memory in molecules.

Designing molecular spin qubits for quantum information

Of the many potential implementations of quantum bits (qubits), molecular spin qubits are particularly favourable: e.g. they have a low fabrication cost, are perfectly identical and are chemically tuneable. Furthermore, they can be engineered to be robust against magnetic noise and exhibit quantum coherence times rivalling solid state qubits. We are investigating how they can be protected from other environmental degrees of freedom such as vibrational noise, such that they maintain their coherence properties in device-like architectures.

Methods and tools for modelling magnetic properties

We are active in developing computational approaches for modelling, understanding, and predicting magnetic properties, which are implemented in our three main codes: PHI, MAGELLAN and CC-FIT2. Currently we're looking at developing new methods for modelling CW EPR spectra, DEER spectra, and extracting information on magnetic populations from dynamic magnetic data.

Unravelling the electronic structure of uranium molecules

We are using a huge array of physical techniques combined with theoretical modelling to shed light on the detailed electronic structure of uranium molecules. Such a fundamental study aims to provide information on physical and chemical properties of the heaviest elements, towards strategies for remediation and repurposing of nuclear waste.

Collaborators - UoM

  • Prof. Richard E. P. Winpenny
  • Prof. Eric J. L. McInnes
  • Prof. David Collison
  • Prof. Stephen T. Liddle
  • Prof. Nik Kaltsoyannis
  • Prof. David P. Mills
  • Dr Louise S. Natrajan
  • Dr Floriana Tuna
  • Dr Jonathan Skelton
  • Dr Ahsan Nazir
  • Dr Michael Baker

Collaborators - U.K.

  • Prof. David Parker FRS (Durham)
  • Prof. Ilya Kuprov (Southampton)
  • Prof. Stephen Faulkner (Oxford)
  • Assoc. Prof. Christiane R. Timmel (Oxford)
  • Dr Tatiana Guidi (ISIS Neutron Source, STFC)

Collaborators - International

  • Prof. Jeff Long (UC Berkeley, USA)
  • Prof. Keith S. Murray (Monash University, Australia)
  • Prof. Yan-Zhen Zheng (Xi'an Jiaotong University, China)
  • Prof. Ming-Liang Tong (Sun Yat-Sen University, China)
  • Prof. Stefano Caretta (The University of Parma, Italy)
  • Prof. Paolo Santini (The University of Parma, Italy)
  • Prof. Stephen Hill (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, USA)
  • Prof. Stergios Piligkos (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Prof. Selvan Demir (Michigan State University, USA)
  • Dr Ben Harvey (Naval Air Warfare Center, Chemistry Division, USA)
  • Dr Alessandro Soncini (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
  • Dr Jacob Overgaard (Aarhus University, Denmark)