- Conference date: 2-7 September 2002
- Location: Granada (Spain)
Magnetic clusters, such as Fe8 and Mn12, within large organic molecules, behave at low temperature T as large single spins S, that is, as single molecule magnets (SMM’s). In crystals, magnetic anisotropy gives rise to energy barriers U, and quantum tunnelling is then the only available path for magnetic relaxation at vanishingly small temperatures. Even this path, however, would seem to be nearly closed by energy conservation requirements, given the existence of magnetic dipolar interactions among all SMM’s in the crystal. Nevertheless, magnetic relaxation that is temperature independent has lately been observed for temperatures under 0.1 U/kBS for Fe8 and Mn12 (U ≈ 30 K and U ≈ 60 K, for Fe8 and Mn12, respectively, and S = 10 for both of them). Prokof’ev and Stamp (PS) were able to explain it by taking into account hyperfine interactions between the tunnelling electronic spins and nuclear spins. In the PS theory, the system of nuclear spins acts much as a heat bath providing a somewhat random magnetic field h(t) that acts on the otherwise closed system of interacting magnetic dipoles. Thus, the open nature of these systems plays an essential role in bringing tunnelling about. Their numerical simulations are explained, results that follow from the simulations are discussed, and a simple derivation of the tunnelling rate is given.
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