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|Year of election:||2004|
Dante Gatteschi was one of the protagonists of the development of molecular magnetism. This must be understood as the design, synthesis and investigation of molecular based systems which form new classes of magnetic materials. After describing some early examples of molecular ferrimagnets, at the beginning of the 1990s came the discovery that a simple molecule, containing 12 manganese ions, Mn12Ac, at low temperature behaves as a tiny magnet, i.e. shows magnetic hysteresis of molecular origin, and in principle may allow the storage of information in one molecule. These tiny magnets show also important quantum effects, like tunneling of the magnetization. These results generated some excitement and prompted many investigations opening the interdisciplinary field of molecular nanomagnetism. The most recent achievements have been the discovery that a behaviour similar to that of Mn12Ac can be observed also in polymeric materials.
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