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Research Fellows Directory

Jinkui Tang

Professor Jinkui Tang

Research Fellow


University of Manchester

Research summary

Jinkui Tang's research focuses on the use of coordination chemistry to study new molecular magnetic materials, particularly single-molecule magnets (SMMs). SMMs are molecular analogues of bulk magnets, hence they show promise for use in data storage. Much of his work is based on anisotropic lanthanide ions. He has reported pioneering work in which he identified that distinct magnetic relaxation processes can be associated with distinct anisotropic centres in the same molecule, and he separated for the first time two distinct regimes of magnetization blocking. Crucially, he has shown that the magnetic blocking was due to individual dysprosium sites and to the exchange interaction between the sites. He discovered the first equatorially-coordinated mononuclear erbium-based SMM and revealed an unprecedented relaxation mechanism mediated via the second excited state; this work led to the development of new strategies for enhancing the spin-relaxation energy barrier. His work has inspired others to investigate the use of utilizing lanthanides as spin carriers in SMMs, hence his work makes impact across the chemistry and physics communities.

His co-applicant Richard A. Layfield (RAL)’s research is concerned with the reactivity and electronic structure of d- and f -block organometallic compounds. The d-block chemistry focuses on the chemistry low-coordinate iron complexes relevant to catalysis, and the f-block chemistry focuses on developing novel synthetic routes to molecule-based magnetic materials. RAL's most significant achievement has been the development of the first organometallic single-molecule magnets (SMMs). This work established new directions in synthetic chemistry and in molecular magnetism, and has influenced many other groups in the USA, China, Canada and Germany, who have now moved into the field pioneered by RAL. RAL has devised a series of magnetic materials containing lanthanides with ligand environments that had not previously been used to observe SMM phenomena - his work has a strong emphasis on unconventional chemical environments. The impact of this work has been considerable, with several of RAL’s paper in this field attracting more than 100 citations. This project has previously been supported by a Royal Society International Collaboration Grant with Prof. L. F. Chibotaru (Leuven, Belgium).

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Making, Measuring and Understanding Advanced Lanthanide Single-Molecule Magnets

Scheme: Newton Advanced Fellowship

Dates: Dec 2016 - Dec 2019

Value: £111,000