The European Institute of Molecular Magnetism


Professor Peter Day passed away on May 19, 2020

The European Institute of Molecular Magnetism is sad to announce that Professor Peter Day passed away on May 19, 2020.
Prof. Peter Day was a distinguished Chemist, Emeritus Professor at University College London and Emeritus Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, London.
Born in a family of modest origin in a small village Kent, Peter Day was educated in a grammar school in Maidstone. He got a PhD degree at Wadham College, Oxford under the supervision of Prof. Robert Wiliams, a famous bioinorganic chemist. He was a pioneer in materials chemistry, interested in the physical properties of new inorganic and molecular compounds and in the best way to model and to explain them theoretically. His work with Robin on mixed valence systems, known as the “Robin and Day classification”, starting with Prussian blue “the grand-daddy of all mixed valence compounds”, is a remarkable scientific piece, still fully operative among modern researchers. [1] Peter was known to design elegant sophisticated experiments and the theoretical models useful to interpret them: optics, spectroscopy, magnetism, (super)conductivity.
Prof. Day was appointed at different positions at the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Oxford University and at Saint-John’s college. (1963-1988). He moved to Grenoble to become Director of the European high flux neutron source (Institute Laue-Langevin, 1988-1991) and of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (1991-1998), a venerable British Institution, since Davy and Faraday, dedicated to spreading science for citizen awareness. [2,3] The « Friday Evening Lectures » are still Londoner celebrated events. Prof. Peter Day was at the same time head of the Davy Faraday Research Laboratory. He then become Emeritus Professor at University College London.
During 40 years of active research, Prof. P. Day published many outstanding results in around 700 articles, in collaboration with numerous groups in UK, the US, Europe, India, Japan. (see annex) He published a book gathering his most important works.[4]
Peter Day was elected fellow of the Royal Society in1986 and member of the Academia Europaea in 1992. He has received awards from the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The RSC award in materials chemistry bears his name.[5] Prof P. Day has served many National, European and International agencies and institutions, both professional and governmental. Prof P. Day holds numerous honorary degrees and fellowships from different universities and academies of sciences in the world. [6-8]
He presented many scientific lectures worldwide. In an elegant, pleasant and inimitable style he shared his views about science, scientists and laboratories and about his own scientist’s story in several books. [2,3] [9,10]
In the molecular magnetism community, Prof. Peter Day occupied a special place, engaged in many European projects and contracts. He often welcomed in the Royal Society of Chemistry in London or in Saint John’s College in Oxford conferences, workshops and discussions. His long experience of Laboratories and European academic and funding Institutions were precious to tackle cleverly and to solve wisely efficiently scientific and organisational problems.
We will miss him.

[1] Robin, Melvin B. and Day, Peter, "Mixed Valence Chemistry", Advances in Inorganic
Chemistry and Radiochemistry, 1967, volume 10, pages 247–422.
[2] P. Day, Nature not mocked, Places, People and Science, Imperial College Press, Singapore, 2005.
[3] P. Day, The philosopher’s Tree, Michael Faradyy(s life and work in his own words, Institute of Physics Publishing, London, 1999.
[4] P. Day, Molecules into materials: case studies in materials chemistry, mixed valency, magnetism and superconductivity, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, 2007.
[9] P. Day, On the cucumber tree, The Grimsay Press, Edinburgh 2012
[10] P. Day, Scientific Tourism, Some places on the way, Indepedently published, 2019

Annex : List of publications
European Award for Doctoral Thesis in Molecular Magnetism, 2018

The winners of the "European Award on Molecular Magnetism Doctoral Thesis", ADocMolMag 2018 Edition, have been selected by the jury composed by three renowned scientists (Dr. Gregory Grégory Chaboussant, Directeur-Adjoint Laboratoire Léon Brillouin, CEA Saclay, France; Prof. Andrea Cornia, Università di Modena & Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; Dr. Floriana Tuna, School of Chemistry & Photon Science Institute, University of Manchester, United Kingdom); they are:

Dr. Eufemio Moreno-Pineda - Institute of Nanotechnology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
With a thesis entitled: New f-Block and Mixed d,f-Block Molecular Nanomagnets

Dr. Alessandro Chiesa - Dipartimento di Scienze Matematiche, Fisiche e Informatiche, University of Parma, Italy
With a thesis entitled: Quantum Information Processing with spin systems: from modeling to possible implementations

Dr. Alessandro Lunghi - Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
With a thesis entitled: Single Molecule Magnets from an Ab-Inition point of view: from single molecules to the adsorption on surfaces

Dr. Julie Jung - Los Alamos National Laboratory, Theoretical Division - Los Alamos, NM, USA
With a thesis entitled: Ab initio study of lanthanide-based single-molecule magnets

They will be awarded at the ECMM 2019, in Firenze, Italy. The winners will receive the diploma and the support toward the attendance of the European Conference on Molecular Magnetism in Firenze (September 2019), or the European School in Molecular Nanoscience, EsMolNA (2018 or 2019 edition).

This fourth edition of the awards follows the first one presented at the International Congress of Molecular Magnetism, ICMM 2008, held in Firenze, Italy, September 2008, where the award was given to Dr. Kevin Bernot (University of Firenze and University of Rennes), Dr Luminita Toma (University of Valencia and University of Groningen) and Dr. Theocharis Stamatatos (University of Florida), the second edition presented at MolMat 2010 in Montpellier, France, where Alessandro Prescimone (University of Edinburgh), Angelika Boeer (University of Manchester) and Francesco Pineider (University of Firenze) were awarded, the third one presented at European Conference of Molecular Magnetism, ECMM 2017 in Bucharest, Romania, where Joseph Zadrozny (Northwestern University) and Abhishake Mondal (Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal – Pessac) were awarded.
2019 Centenary Prize Winner

Professor Roberta Sessoli

Awarded for world-leading research on molecular magnetism, single chain magnets and sustained memory effects in molecular systems.
Roberta Sessoli obtained the PhD in Chemistry in 1992 at the University of Florence working on low dimensional molecular magnetic materials with Prof. Dante Gatteschi and performing part of her studies at the Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale - Université Paris-Sud with Dr. Jean-Pierre Renard. She developed her career at the University of Florence, as an associate professor since 2000 and full professor since 2012. As an experimentalist and a pioneer in the field of Single Molecule Magnets she has collaborated with many chemists and physicists to develop novel materials and novel investigation methodologies. She has been invited professor at Pierre & Marie Curie University, Paris (2001), at the Otago University, New Zealand (2017), and she has been awarded with a visiting professorship at the Gutenberg University in Mainz (2018-2019). She is a member of the Academia Europæa, of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and a fellow of the Royal Chemical Society. She is author of about 350 peer reviewed articles, one book, and several book chapters. For her scientific achievements she has been selected as a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Council of the President of the European Commission (2013-2014) and she received prestigious prizes such as the Distinguished Woman in Chemistry award from IUPAC (2015), the Lecoq de Boisbaudran award from the European Rare Earths Society (2015), and the Agilent Technologies Europhysics prize (2002). In 2010 she has been awarded with an ERC Advanced Grant to investigate magnetic molecules deposited on conducting surfaces.
2019 Tilden Prize Winner

Professor Eric McInnes

Awarded for seminal contributions to the electron paramagnetic spectroscopy of transition metal compounds.
Eric McInnes is a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at The University of Manchester. He is an expert in Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy (also known as Electron Spin Resonance, ESR) methods, and their application to the characterisation of inorganic materials. These, and complementary techniques including magnetometry, have been applied widely to problems in p, d and f-block chemistry. He was awarded his BSc (1992) and PhD (1995) at the University of Edinburgh, the latter under the supervision of L.J. Yellowlees. After post-doctoral spells in Manchester and East Anglia, he was appointed to a lectureship at Manchester in 2000 where he was promoted to a Chair in 2007. He is currently co-Director of the EPSRC-funded National EPR Facility for EPR at Manchester, is part of the Manchester Molecular Magnetism group, and was Chair of the RSC EPR Group from 2016-2019. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) in 2019, of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2009, and was awarded the International EPR Society (IES) medal for Chemistry in 2015.
ADocMolMag Prize - V edition

Entries are now being accepted for the fourth "European Award on Molecular Magnetism Doctoral Thesis". The awards, will be given to young talented researchers in the field of Molecular Magnetism or a closely related discipline. The jury will pay particular attention to the design of novel magnetic molecules and materials, discovery of new phenomena, the application of new technologies or techniques, and important steps that advance our understanding of molecular magnetism. The jury will be composed of four internationally renowned scientists working within the field. The final number of prizes awarded (probably three), will be communicated after the selection.

The prize will include:
a) A diploma certifying the winning of the award;
b) 500 Euro to the winner plus other 500 Euro (so a total of 1000 Euro) to support the travel expenses and the registration fee for the attendance to an international meeting related with Molecular Magnetism or having session devoted to Molecular Magnetism (such as the European Conference of Molecular Magnetism 2019, or the Spintronic conference 2018, or the ESMolNa school 2018, where, the successful candidates, will also have the opportunity to present their work, or others like ICCC, as an example).

Eligibility. Candidates are considered eligible if they have submitted a PhD thesis between the 1st April 2014 and the 31th March 2016.
Application. The application should contain (in electronic format):
1) A three-page summary of the thesis, underlining the major achievements of the thesis work;
2) A list of the publications obtained from the thesis, including publications that have appeared since the thesis was submitted, reporting also the IF of journal and number of citations of each paper;
3) A two page (maximum) CV, containing also the contact details of the applicant;
4) A maximum of One recommendation letter (not mandatory) from the supervisors of the thesis or other scientists involved in the thesis work;
5) The electronic version of the thesis and related publications in pdf format.

Applications should be sent to the following email address:

by March 30st 2018, and should be clearly marked ADocMolMag in the subject.
If the material is too heavy for being sent by email, you are allowed to use tools for transfer of data. Dr. Stefano Vannuzzi, from EIMM secretariat, will take care of the collection of the applications and will acknowledge your application

Wolfgang Wernsdorfer

Experimental Solid State Physics
Wolfgang Wernsdorfer's specialism is experimental solid state physics at the interface with chemistry and material science. He is one of the world's leading experts on nanomagnets and their use in quantum spintronics. Already as a doctoral researcher at the Low Temperature Laboratory in Grenoble, he developed the nano-SQUID, a breakthrough device allowing him to measure the magnetic properties of single nanostructures and molecules. Wernsdorfer discovered the role played by quantum laws in molecular magnetism and was thus able to build electronic circuits in which the electric current is controlled by the magnetism in the molecule. One of his most recent ambitions is to integrate tiny, molecular quantum processors in the state-of-the-art CMOS technology used in microelectronics. This could lead to nanomagnets being used in future quantum computers.

Nominating University: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Professor Dr Wolfgang Wernsdorfer
Born in Germany in 1966, Wolfgang Wernsdorfer initially trained as an electrician, then proceeded to study physics at the University of Würzburg and completed his education at the elite École normale supérieure in Lyon, France. In 1993, he became a doctoral researcher at the Low Temperature Laboratory and the Laboratoire de Magnetism in Grenoble, France ? two of the institutes that formed today's Institut NEEL where he has held the position of Directeur de recherche 1ère classe since 2008. The honours and awards he has received include the Agilent Europhysics Prize granted by the European Physical Society, the Olivier Kahn International Award, granted by the European Institute of Molecular Magnetism, a European Research Council Advanced Grant and the Prix Spécial from the Société Française de Physique.