The development of new technology brings with it a constant demand for new functional materials. Fundamental knowledge of how these materials behave under the influence of an external stimulus (e.g. an electric field or light) underpins our ability to meet this demand. Aside from the electrical response, the magnetic properties of materials have become increasingly important with the emergence of magnetic data storage, spin electronics, and quantum computers. In these technologies, the system's operation depends not only on the charge of the electron (the carrier in traditional electronics), but also on its intrinsic magnetic moment (spin). Technological progress in these areas depends on our understanding of this magnetism and our ability to control it. In this PhD thesis, we focus on the synthesis of new smart materials in which magnetism arises from a single molecule. In addition, we demonstrate a measurement method that can visualise one of the most important magnetic properties, the directional dependence of magnetism. This offers new insights into the origin and behaviour of magnetism from single molecules, which can be used as a basis for developing new technology.
Laurens Peters obtained his Master's degree in Chemistry from Radboud University in 2011, with a specialisation in molecular materials. This was followed by PhD research at the High Field Magnet Laboratory where he investigated molecular magnets using high magnetic fields and cantilever magnetometry. In 2016, he joined TNO as a researcher in 3D-printed food and medicine. After two years, he moved to TNO – Holst Centre, where he focuses on thin and thick film technology within medical imaging and ultrasound transducers. He is also currently working at the Chip Integration Technology Centre in Nijmegen, where he applies his knowledge of thick film technology to RF packaging technology.