Dr. Martin Lemaire

Research Involves

Designing, preparing and studying new molecule-based magnetic materials to power faster computers with much greater storage capabilities.

Research Relevance

This research will help usher in spin-based electronics (spintronics) from a molecular point of view, and will lead to vastly more powerful computing technologies.

Spinning Toward New Materials for Computing Power

Devices and technologies as diverse as computer hard drives, sensors and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners all have one thing in common: magnetism, arguably the most important force in nature.

Magnetism in traditional atom-based solids, like iron (magnetite) or chromium oxides, is well understood and there are many applications that use these magnetic materials, including credit/debit card magnetic strips, electric motors and generators.

About 25 years ago, researchers began to study the magnetic properties of molecules in an attempt to increase the sophistication and use of magnetic materials. Magnets composed of molecules offer a wealth of new possibilities that cannot be achieved with simple atom-based systems.

Dr. Martin Lemaire, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Spintronic Materials, is using molecular precursors to prepare new magnetic materials. Molecule-based materials research is now at the forefront of emerging technologies such as molecular spin electronics (or spintronics), a field of nanoscale electronics that involves the detection and manipulation of electron spin. However, preparing these new materials presents significant challenges that need to be overcome before any potential applications can be achieved.

With the increasing desire for faster computers with tremendous power and storage capabilities, nanoscale magnets built from molecular precursors are vital. Lemaire’s research will help lay the foundation for this technological revolution.