The Murrie Research Group

Molecular Magnetism, Molecular Materials and Nanomaterials

Welcome to the web pages of the Murrie research group

Ni SIMOur research interests are in the synthesis & characterisation of molecular materials and nanomaterials that display novel magnetic, optical or switching properties. These can be broadly split into three areas:

Molecular nanomagnets / single-molecule magnets

Nanomaterials (d- and f-block metal oxides)

The effect of high pressure on molecular materials

Read more about our research.

We would like to thank the following for funding:
EPSRC (for current EPSRC funding click here); The Science and Technology Facilities Council; The University of Glasgow; The Nuffield Foundation; The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and SYNERGY.

Latest news:

April 2017
** Congratulations to María José on her new 'magnetocaloric ring' paper with our collaborators in Zaragoza in Chem Commun **

March 2017
** New paper with our collaborators at the Laboratoire Léon Brillouin 'Probing photo-induced spin states in spin-crossover molecules with neutron scattering' published in Phys. Rev. B **

January 2017
** Beamtime awarded to use inelastic neutron scattering to probe single-ion magnets at the ISIS neutron source **

December 2016
** New paper with our collaborators in Edinburgh 'Pressure induced enhancement of the magnetic ordering temperature in rhenium(IV) monomers' published in Nature Communications **

** Programme mode application for high-pressure beamtime with our collaborators in Edinburgh funded, giving beamtime on I19 for the next 2 years **

November 2016
** Welcome Angelos, who starts as a PDRA in the group this month **

** New paper on 'rational serendipity and undirected synthesis' published in Dalton Trans. **

October 2016
** Welcome Marsali, who starts her PhD in the group this month **

September 2016
** Congratulations to María José who won a prize at ICMM2016 - the 15th International Conference on Molecule-Based Magnets, held in Japan, for her poster based on the Chem. Eur. J article **

August 2016
** New paper with the Magennis group 'Surface Charge Control of Quantum Dot Blinking' published in
J. Phys. Chem. C **

** Congratulations to María José on the publication of her work in Chem. Eur. J. & highlight as a VIP **

** Gavin leaves to take up his JSPS Fellowship and Jamie joins the group **

July 2016
** New paper 'Gadolinium-doped magnetite nanoparticles from a single-source precursor' published in RSC Advances **

May 2016
** New paper with our collaborators in Edinburgh & ANSTO 'A Non-Topological Mechanism for Negative Linear Compressibility' published in Chemical Communications **

March 2016
** Congratulations to Gavin who is speaking at Dalton 2016 **

** Congratulations to Fraser on passing his PhD viva **

January 2016
** Mag Lab highlights our work on record magnetic anisotropy **

New publications:

Pushing the Limits of Magnetic Anisotropy in Trigonal Bipyramidal Ni(II)
K. E. R. Marriott, L. Bhaskaran, C. Wilson, M. Medarde, S. T. Ochsenbein, S. Hill and M. Murrie
Chem. Sci., 2015 DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02854J

"Monometallic complexes based on 3d transition metal ions in certain axial coordination environments can exhibit appreciably enhanced magnetic anisotropy, important for memory applications, due to stabilisation of an unquenched orbital moment. For high-spin trigonal bipyramidal Ni(II), if competing structural distortions can be minimised, this may result in an axial anisotropy that is at least an order of magnitude stronger than found for orbitally non-degenerate octahedral complexes. Broadband, high-field EPR studies of [Ni(MDABCO)2Cl3]ClO4 (1) confirm an unprecedented axial magnetic anisotropy, which pushes the limits of the familiar spin-only description. Crucially, compared to complexes with multidentate ligands that encapsulate the metal ion, we see only a very small degree of axial symmetry breaking. 1 displays field-induced slow magnetic relaxation, which is rare for monometallic Ni(II) complexes due to efficient spin-lattice and quantum tunnelling relaxation pathways."


3d single-ion magnets

G. A. Craig and M. Murrie.
Chem. Soc. Rev.,
2015 DOI: 10.1039/c4cs00439f

"One of the determining factors in whether single-molecule magnets (SMMs) may be used as the smallest component of data storage, is the size of the barrier to reversal of the magnetisation, Ueff. This physical quantity depends on the magnitude of the magnetic anisotropy of a complex and the size of its spin ground state. In recent years, there has been a growing focus on maximising the anisotropy generated for a single 3d transition metal (TM) ion, by an appropriate ligand field, as a means of achieving higher barriers. Because the magnetic properties of these compounds arise from a single ion in a ligand field, they are often referred to as single-ion magnets (SIMs). Here, the synthetic chemist has a significant role to play, both in the design of ligands to enforce propitious splitting of the 3d orbitals and in the judicious choice of TM ion. Since the publication of the first 3d-based SIM, which was based on Fe(II), many other contributions have been made to this field, using different first row TM ions, and exploring varied coordination environments for the paramagnetic ions."

3d SIMs

Field-Induced Slow Relaxation in a Monometallic Manganese(III) Single-Molecule Magnet
G. A. Craig, J. J. Marbey, S. Hill, O. Roubeau, S. Parsons and M. Murrie.
Inorg. Chem.,
2015 DOI: 10.1021/ic5024136 pdf available

"High-field electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy shows that the structurally distorted Mn(III) ion in Na5[Mn(l-tart)2]·12H2O (1; l-tart = l-tartrate) has a significant negative axial zero-field splitting and a small rhombic anisotropy (∼1% of D). Alternating-current magnetic susceptibility measurements demonstrate that 1, which contains isolated Mn(III) centers, displays slow relaxation of its magnetization under an applied direct-current magnetic field."


Exchange interactions at the origin of slow relaxation of the magnetization in {TbCu3} and {DyCu3} single-molecule magnets
F. J. Kettles, V. A. Milway, F. Tuna, R. Valiente, L. H. Thomas, W. Wernsdorfer, S. T. Ochsenbein and M. Murrie.
Inorg. Chem., 2014
DOI: 10.1021/ic500885r pdf available

"We have determined the exchange interactions in new {TbCu3} and {DyCu3} SMMs, with inelastic neutron scattering (INS) spectroscopy. We found that the fundamental INS excitations correspond to CuII spin flips. These have energies similar to the thermodynamic barriers for magnetization reversal, which we determined using ac magnetic susceptibility measurements. This indicates the importance of these spin flips for the magnetic relaxation and therefore the importance of the 3d−4f exchange interactions for the thermodynamic energy barrier."


Formation of octapod MnO nanoparticles with enhanced magnetic properties through kinetically-controlled thermal decomposition of polynuclear manganese complexes
F. J. Douglas, D. A. MacLaren, F. Tuna, W. M. Holmes, C. C. Berry and M. Murrie.
Nanoscale, 2014 DOI: 10.1039/C3NR04832B pdf available

"Polynuclear manganese complexes are used as precursors for the synthesis of manganese oxide nanoparticles (MnO NPs). Altering the thermal decomposition conditions can shift the nanoparticle product from spherical, thermodynamically-driven NPs to unusual, kinetically-controlled octapod structures. The resulting increased surface area profoundly alters the NP’s surface-dependent magnetism and may have applications in nanomedicine."


Directed Synthesis of {Mn18Cu6} Heterometallic Complexes
V. A. Milway, F. Tuna, A. R. Farrell, L. E. Sharp, S. Parsons and M. Murrie.

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.,
2013 DOI: 10.1002/anie.201208781 pdf available

"A two-step method for the directed synthesis of high-nuclearity MnIII-MnII-CuII heterometallic transition metal complexes is described. The synthesis starts from a preformed copper(II) complex to trap an inner hexacapped cuboctahedral manganese oxide core."






Contact Us | WestCHEM, School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ. Office A5-18. Telephone: +44 (0) 141 330 4486. Fax: +44 (0) 141 330 4888. Email: