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Encoding complexity within supramolecular analogues of frustrated magnets

Cairns, Andrew B.; Cliffe, Matthew J.; Paddison, Joseph A.M.; Daisenberger, Dominik; Tucker, Matthew G.; Coudert, François Xavier; Goodwin, Andrew L.


Andrew B. Cairns

Joseph A.M. Paddison

Dominik Daisenberger

Matthew G. Tucker

François Xavier Coudert

Andrew L. Goodwin


© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. The solid phases of gold(I) and/or silver(I) cyanides are supramolecular assemblies of inorganic polymer chains in which the key structural degrees of freedom - namely, the relative vertical shifts of neighbouring chains - are mathematically equivalent to the phase angles of rotating planar ('XY') spins. Here, we show how the supramolecular interactions between chains can be tuned to mimic different magnetic interactions. In this way, the structures of gold(I) and/or silver(I) cyanides reflect the phase behaviour of triangular XY magnets. Complex magnetic states predicted for this family of magnets - including collective spin-vortices of relevance to data storage applications - are realized in the structural chemistry of these cyanide polymers. Our results demonstrate how chemically simple inorganic materials can behave as structural analogues of otherwise inaccessible 'toy' spin models and also how the theoretical understanding of those models allows control over collective ('emergent') phenomena in supramolecular systems.


Cairns, A. B., Cliffe, M. J., Paddison, J. A., Daisenberger, D., Tucker, M. G., Coudert, F. X., & Goodwin, A. L. (2016). Encoding complexity within supramolecular analogues of frustrated magnets. Nature Chemistry, 8(5), 442-447.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 18, 2016
Online Publication Date Feb 22, 2016
Publication Date May 1, 2016
Deposit Date Dec 20, 2018
Journal Nature Chemistry
Print ISSN 1755-4330
Electronic ISSN 1755-4349
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 5
Pages 442-447
Public URL
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