EIMM is a joint initiative stemming from the European Network of Excellence MAGMANet. The institute aims to become a centre of excellence in Europe for research and training as well as a world leading reference in the area of Molecular Magnetism


The European Institute of Molecular Magnetism, EIMM 
Four words which generate many questions.
Dante Gatteschi
Chairman of the EIMM


Molecular magnetism designates the use of molecular techniques to obtain new classes of magnetic materials including at the nano-scale.


European has been a popular word for quite a number of years, an adjective which goes well with many substantives so why not with Institute. The emerging idea is that of an entity which integrates existing institutions, belonging to different European countries. Molecular Magnetism in Europe represents a community of several hundreds active researchers, who are at the forefront worldwide. However, without integration, European research is fragmented and isolated and cannot reach the impact in the world market appropriated to its potential, both in terms of scientific advancements and their exploration (Futures Programme Competitiveness Map, 1999). So the meaning of the four words is becoming clear. Some additional information is needed though.

Magnets are found in everyday life applications such as telecommunications, transportation, computers, medical and biological applications. From audio or videotapes to door closures and car parts, magnets are ubiquitous as they can be found everywhere. Typically, magnets are formed by metals, like iron, alloys, like the powerful Sm-Co, or oxides, like lodestone or magnetite, the first magnet discovered.

For more than two decades now, chemists have been working on an ambitious project consisting in using molecular chemistry techniques to develop new classes of magnets based on molecules rather than on metallic and ionic lattices.

Molecular magnetism designates the use of molecular techniques to obtain new classes of magnetic materials including at the nano-scale. This may consist in designing and synthesising:


  • Molecules whose magnetic properties change under external stimuli
  • Magnets with novel properties, obtained by the coexistence of features that do not exist in classic magnets
  • Individual molecules which behave as tiny magnets
  • Molecules for spintronics
  • Magnetic nanoparticles with superior properties

 This novel scientific field has emerged, motivated by:

  • The need for a fundamental understanding of magnetism
  • The need for new improved multifunctional materials with the possibility of fine tuning their properties at molecular level
  • The trend towards miniaturisation of electronic devices to the ultimate scale, i.e. molecular or nano scale
  • The demands for tailored magnetic nanoparticles for biological and medical application


In 2005 the European Commission decided that research in Molecular Magnetism is of strategic interest in Europe by funding the Network of excellence MAGMANet, which aimed to integrate more than 20 nodes, belonging to 10 different Countries, with the goal of giving rise to a Durable Integrating Structure (DIS). Thus, the EIMM, was incorporated on March 18, 2008 as a non-profit Institute, grouping 15 bodies of 9 different European countries. Three additional bodies of three different European countries have also signed a Framework Agreement of collaboration with the EIMM.

The EIMM vision is that of becoming a centre of excellence in Europe for research and training as well as a world leading reference in the area of Molecular Magnetism.

The EIMM pursues its mission through the annual elaboration of a Research Roadmap which indicates the priority areas where to address scientific efforts having the aim to be a knowledge-based, market oriented network designed to facilitate rapid exploitation of R&D results and know-how.

Specific targets of EIMM are:


  • To promote, coordinate and perform multidisciplinary research, education, technological advancement in the area of Molecular Magnetism in Europe, optimizing the efforts and the utilization of resources of its members.
  • To promote the development of the European level facilities needed to perform research at internationally competitive level.
  • To provide a single reference point for International partnerships and collaborations, offering the full spectrum of the best European Research and facilities in the Molecular Magnetism area.
  • To offer a single reference point to Industry for expert advice and problem solving.
  • To promote the public understanding of Molecular Magnetism and an awareness of its implications especially in the areas of information science, healthcare/biomedicine, safety and security devices.

So we now embark on an exciting new mission to build on these foundations and ensure that the questions generated by these four words are not only answered but transformed into a reality.



Dr. Stefano Vannuzzi

Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali (INSTM)

Via G. Giusti, 9, I-50121 Firenze, Italy

Tel: +39-055-233-871 (direct line)

Fax: +39-055-2480111

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