Three-Leaf Quantum Interference Clovers in a Trigonal Single-Molecule Magnet

James H. Atkinson, Ross Inglis, Enrique del Barco*, Euan K. Brechin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on a single-molecule magnet where the spatial arrangement of three manganese ions and their spin-orbit coupling tensor orientations result in threefold angular modulations of the magnetization tunneling rates and quantum interference patterns that mimic the form of a three-leaf clover. Although expected in all quantum tunneling of magnetization resonances for a trigonal molecular symmetry, the threefold modulation only appears at resonances for which a longitudinal magnetic field is applied (i.e., resonance numbers vertical bar k vertical bar > 0). A sixfold transverse field modulation observed at resonance k = 0 manifests as a direct consequence of a threefold corrugation of the spin-orbit coupling energy landscape, creating an effective longitudinal field which varies the resonance condition in the presence of a transverse field. The observations allow for an association between the trigonal distortion of the local spin-orbit interactions and the spatial disposition of the constituent ions, a finding that can be extrapolated to other systems where spin-orbit coupling plays a significant role.

Original languageEnglish
Article number087201
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2014


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