Dr. Preuss’s research is focused on developing unique (supra)molecular materials with technologically-relevant properties. Key areas of focus include:
1) Smart materials based on paramagnetic molecules. Materials that exhibit memory (i.e., their present state is dependent on previous history) can store information about their environment and history and have potential uses in digital electronics, in safety applications, and as sensors. Preuss aims to design and characterize materials with memory (magnetic, ferroelectric, magneto-optical) and explore the coordination properties of radical species. She also explores the design of magnetosalient materials, wherein applied magnetic field gradients can be used to induced motion.
2) Supramolecular architecture and solid-state phase transitions. Preuss and her group established 1,2,3,5-dithiadiazolyl (DTDA) as a feasible building block for the design of stable paramagnetic ligands. Unlike most radical ligands, DTDA ligands allow for strong, directional supramolecular contacts that serve as magnetic (super)exchange pathways. Preuss and her research team have reported soluble, volatile molecular materials that exhibit antiferromagnetic (AF) and ferromagnetic (FM) ordering, and demonstrated addressable gating between two Dy(III) SMMs, a novel model for a CNOT (universal) quantum logic gate. Additionally, Preuss designed systems with re-entrant behaviour and reported magnetic hysteresis (i.e., memory) near room temperature (RT) in a crystalline small organic radical (HbimDTDA).
3) Non-magnetic properties of crystalline materials. Preuss is also interested in exploring the plasticity of bending crystals, reversible chiral resolution, and host-guest chemistry using main group metal complexes for the separation of hydrocarbons.