Using light to promote the magnetic storage of information

2019 is the deadline that Dr Lucie Norel and Professor Stéphane Rigaut, from the Institute of Chemical Sciences in Rennes, have set themselves to develop their PhotoSMM project, supported by the European Commission as part of a Marie Sklodowska Curie action.
Lucie Norel et Stéphane Rigaut - Photo UR1/Dircom/OBE


Molecular magnets are molecular objects with the intrinsic ability to hold information in the form of a magnetic moment. These systems could be considered in the future as nanoscale memory elements.

PhotoSMM European project

The PhotoSMM project aims to make such objects switchable with light, thus increasing the possibilities of addressing magnetic information both by light radiation and by a magnetic field.
The proposed strategy is to combine metallic centres with high magnetic anisotropy, which is the area of expertise of Prof. Jeffrey R. Long's team, with photo ligands. Long's team, as well as photochromic ligands developed at the ISCR by Dr. Lucie Norel and Professor Stéphane Rigaut. The challenge is to use light to obtain fine control of the metal's coordination sphere and therefore of its magnetic properties.

An international dimension

During the first year of the project, Dr. Lucie Norel, lecturer at the University of Rennes 1, carried out her research at the University of California (Berkeley) in the team of Professor Jeffrey R. Long's team.
The second year was spent at the Institute of Chemical Sciences in Rennes with Professor Stéphane Rigaut.

Identity card

European project Photo-SMM - HORIZON 2020 Programme - Marie S. Curie Action Curie Action
Name of the Scientific Leader: Stéphane RIGAUT
Laboratory / UMR: Institute of Chemical Sciences of Rennes - UMR CNRS 6226
Project duration: From 01/09/16 to 31/08/18 (2 years)