The phenomenon of single molecule magnet (SMM) behavior of mixed valent Mn 12 coordination clusters of general formula [Mn III 8Mn IV 4O 12(RCOO) 16(H 2O) 4] had been exemplified by bulk samples of the archetypal [Mn III 8Mn IV 4O 12(CH 3COO) 16(H 2O) 4] (4) molecule, and the molecular origin of the observed magnetic behavior has found support from extensive studies on the Mn 12 system within crystalline material or on molecules attached to a variety of surfaces. Here we report the magnetic signature of the isolated cationic species [Mn 12O 12(CH 3COO) 15(CH 3CN)] + (1) by gas phase X-ray Magnetic Circular Dichroism (XMCD) spectroscopy, and we find it closely resembling that of the corresponding bulk samples. Furthermore, we report broken symmetry DFT calculations of spin densities and single ion tensors of the isolated, optimized complexes [Mn 12O 12(CH 3COO) 15(CH 3CN)] + (1), [Mn 12O 12(CH 3COO) 16] (2), [Mn 12O 12(CH 3COO) 16(H 2O) 4] (3), and the complex in bulk geometry [Mn III 8Mn IV 4O 12(CH 3COO) 16(H 2O) 4] (5). The found magnetic fingerprints – experiment and theory alike – are of a remarkable robustness: The Mn IV 4 core bears almost no magnetic anisotropy while the surrounding Mn III 8 ring is highly anisotropic. These signatures are truly intrinsic properties of the Mn 12 core scaffold within all of these complexes and largely void of the environment. This likely holds irrespective of bulk packing effects.
- single molecule magnets
- XMCD spectroscopy
- broken symmetry DFT modelling
- gaseous ions
- single ion magnetic anisotropy tensors