Nature communications

Molecular magnetic switch for a metallofullerene.

PMID 25732144


The endohedral fullerenes lead to well-protected internal species by the fullerene cages, and even highly reactive radicals can be stabilized. However, the manipulation of the magnetic properties of these radicals from outside remains challenging. Here we report a system of a paramagnetic metallofullerene Sc3C2@C80 connected to a nitroxide radical, to achieve the remote control of the magnetic properties of the metallofullerene. The remote nitroxide group serves as a magnetic switch for the electronic spin resonance (ESR) signals of Sc3C2@C80 via spin-spin interactions. Briefly, the nitroxide radical group can 'switch off' the ESR signals of the Sc3C2@C80 moiety. Moreover, the strength of spin-spin interactions between Sc3C2@C80 and the nitroxide group can be manipulated by changing the distance between these two spin centres. In addition, the ESR signals of the Sc3C2@C80 moiety can be switched on at low temperatures through weakened spin-lattice interactions.