The Drosophila of single-molecule magnetism: [Mn12O12(O2CR)16(H2O)4]
Single-molecule magnets (SMMs) are individual molecules that can function as nanoscale magnetic particles. The [Mn12O12(O2CR)16(H2O)4] (Mn12; R = Me, Et, etc.) family of SMMs was the first one discovered; it is also the one whose study has provided the majority of current knowledge on this interesting magnetic phenomenon, prompting its description here as the Drosophila of the field. This tutorial review will survey the various chemical studies that have been carried out to date on this family. This will include a discussion of methods that have been developed for their structural and redox transformation, and the effect of the latter on the magnetic and SMM properties.