Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Bruce N. Harmon


The single molecular magnet (SMM) Mn12-AC attracted the attention of scientists since the discovery of its magnetic hystereses which are accompanied by sudden jumps in magnetic moments at low temperature. Unlike conventional bulk magnets, hysteresis in SMMs is of molecular origin. This qualifies them as candidates for next generation of high density storage media where a molecule which is at most few nanometers in size can be used to store a bit of information. However, the jumps in these hystereses, due to spin tunneling, can lead to undesired loss of information.;Mn12-AC molecule contains twelve magnetic ions antiferromagnetically coupled by exchanges leading to S = 10 ground state manifold. The magnetic ions are surrounded by ligands which isolate them magnetically from neighboring molecules. The lowest state of S = 9 manifold is believed to lie at about 40 K above the ground state. Therefore, at low temperatures, the molecule is considered as a single uncoupled moment of spin S = 10. Such model has been used widely to understand phenomena exhibited by the molecule at low temperatures including the tunneling of its spin, while a little attention has been paid for the multi-spin nature of the molecule. Using the 8-spin model, we demonstrate that in order to understand the phenomena of tunneling, a full spin description of the molecule is required. We utilized a calculation scheme where a fraction of energy levels are used in the calculations and the influence of levels having higher energy is neglected. From the dependence of tunnel splittings on the number of states include, we conclude that models based on restricting the number of energy levels (single-spin and 8-spin models) lead to unreliable results of tunnel splitting calculations.;To attack the full 12-spin model, we employed the Davidson algorithm to calculated lowest energy levels produced by exchange interactions and single ion anisotropies. The model reproduces the anisotropy properties at low temperature very well. At higher energy levels, however, the agreement is qualitative. Toward better quantitative agreement, further terms must be included in the Hamiltonian and further developments of computation algorithms are needed to overcome the size of the problem.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Mohamad A. Al-Saqer



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

81 pages