Claire Besson

Claire Besson
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
SEH 3660
Science & Engineering Hall (SEH)
800 22nd Street NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
United States
[email protected]
Besson Lab Website

Areas of Expertise

Coordination chemistry, magnetochemistry, molecule-based quantum computing

After a PhD in the field of polyoxometalate chemistry, Claire Besson developed an interest in molecular spintronics while working as a post-doc in Germany, before moving to the George Washington University in August 2015.

Current Research

While the theory of quantum computing has experienced a tremendous development over the past two decades, actual operational quantum computers of more than a handful of qubits still remain far out or reach for lack of a scalable and tractable quantum bit system. Magnetic molecules are good candidates for spin qubits, but the mechanism of writing and reading of the spin states of a single molecule remains a significant challenge.

The main objective of the research in our group is to address this issue by providing new qubit candidates in the form of magnetic complexes that allow for an electrical access to the spin states in charge transport experiments they are specially designed for. Through the study of those complexes, we aim at a general understanding of the influence of parameters such as symmetry, geometry and, crucially, contacting environment on the magnetic properties of isolated bistable complexes to be used as electrically accessible qubits.


PhD: Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, 2009

Undergraduate studies: École Normale Supérieure, Paris (2002-2006)


Controlled covalent binding of antiferromagnetic tetramanganese complexes to carbon nanotubes. R. Frielinghaus, C. Besson, L. Houben, A.-K. Saelhoff, C. M. Schneider, C. Meyer, RSC Adv., 2015, 5 (102), 84119-84124.

Accessing 4f-states in single-molecule spintronics. S. Fahrendorf, N. Atodiresei , C. Besson , V. Caciuc, F. Matthes, S. Blügel, P. Kögerler, D. E. Bürgler, C. M. Schneider, Nature Commun. , 2013 , 4 , 3425-3430.

Classes Taught

Chem 1111: General Chemistry I

Chem 4134: Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry