Electron spin relaxation of N@C 60 in CS 2

John J.L. Morton, Alexei M. Tyryshkin, Arzhang Ardavan, Kyriakos Porfyrakis, S. A. Lyon, G. Andrew, D. Briggs

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101 Scopus citations


We examine the temperature dependence of the electron spin relaxation times of the molecules N@C 60 and N@C 70 (which comprise atomic nitrogen trapped within a carbon cage) in liquid CS 2 solution. The results are inconsistent with the fluctuating zero-field splitting (ZFS) mechanism, which is commonly invoked to explain electron spin relaxation for S≥1 spins in liquid solution, and is the mechanism postulated in the literature for these systems. Instead, we find an Arrhenius temperature dependence for N@C 60, indicating the spin relaxation is driven primarily by an Orbach process. For the asymmetric N@C 70 molecule, which has a permanent ZFS, we resolve an additional relaxation mechanism caused by the rapid reorientation of its ZFS. We also report the longest coherence time (T 2) ever observed for a molecular electron spin, being 0.25 ms at 170 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014508
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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