Recent advances on the organization and characterization of [Mn12] single molecule magnets (SMMs) on a surface or in 3D are reviewed. By using nonconventional techniques such as X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), it is shown that [Mn12]-based SMMs deposited on a surface lose their SMM behavior, even though the molecules seem to be structurally undamaged. A new approach is reported to get high-density information-storage devices, based on the 3D assembling of SMMs in a liquid crystalline phase. The 3D nanostructure exhibits the anisotropic character of the SMMs, thus opening the way to address micrometric volumes by two photon absorption using the pump-probe technique. We present recent developments such as µ-SQUID, magneto-optical Kerr effect (MOKE), or magneto-optical circular dichroism (MOCD), which enable the characterization of SMM nanostructures with exceptional sensitivity. Further, the spin-polarized version of the STM under ultrahigh vacuum is shown to be the key tool for addressing not only single molecule magnets, but also magnetic nano-objects.
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