Researchers at the University of Valencia and the Institute of Chemical Technology have confirmed for the first time the possibility of modulating the magnetic properties of an inorganic material by photoactivated organic molecules.

Specifically, the device has succeeded in synthesizing laminar hybrid in which have been modulated magnetic properties of an inorganic matrix based hydroxides, thanks to the size changes caused by molecules of one type material called ‘azo’ under the effect of a light stimulation. The results were published in the journal Advanced Materials.

hybrid laminate

Before ultraviolet excitation light of these molecules, the sheets of the inorganic matrix and decrease the distance thus alter its magnetic properties. The hybrid laminate can return to its original properties when exposed to water or certain humidity, by the fact that the initial distance between the sheets of the inorganic matrix is ​​recovered.

The success of this research has been the collation photoactivatable anionic molecules in the interlamellar space of the inorganic matrix and gets the fact, solid state reaction of trans-cis isomerization of the molecules type azo in the nanometer space left between the sheets.

Through this research path for modulating the magnetic properties of a material by applying an external stimulus, such as, light, heat, humidity, etc. is opened. Thus, it is demonstrated that the combination of two components involves more than the mere bonding functionalities, and acquiring, by a cooperative mechanism, novel properties not previously achieved, which offers a wide range of possibilities, and in the field the spintronics or sensors.

According to the authors, the research represents an important step in the chemical design of a variety of functional hybrid materials by the deliberate choice of a matrix that acts as a host and the physical properties of molecules intercalated as hosts advance.