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Materials Science and Engineering R 42 (2003) 115155

Second-order nonlinear optical properties of chiral materials

Sonja Sioncke, Thierry Verbiest, Andre Persoons*
Department of Chemistry, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium Accepted 9 September 2003

This paper reviews work on the second-order nonlinear optical properties of chiral thin lms and surfaces. We give an overview of the theoretical formalism and experimental techniques to describe the second-harmonic generation (SHG) from chiral thin lms and surfaces. We also discuss the second-harmonic response of thin lms and surfaces composed of chiral synthetic materials and biological molecules. In addition, we point out possible applications and the future prospects in this eld. # 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Keywords: Chirality; Second-harmonic generation; Nonlinear optics; Surfaces; Optical activity; Thin films

1. Introduction Chirality is equivalent to the lack of mirror planes in a materials system. As a consequence, chiral molecules occur in two enantiomers that are mirror images of each other. Because of the importance of chirality in the fields of biochemistry, biology, catalysis and pharmacology, chirality has been a widely studied phenomenon. In order to probe chirality, well-established techniques are needed. Characterization techniques are usually based on the fact that chiral molecules exhibit optical activity effects, i.e. they interact differently with left- and right-hand circularly-polarized light. The circular-difference response changes sign between the two enantiomers of the chiral molecules. Well-known examples of optical activity effects are optical rotatory dispersion (ORD), optical rotation and circular-dichroism. These effects are routinely used to determine the absolute configuration of chiral molecules, their enantiomeric purity, as well as the secondary structure of proteins and DNA. Recently, optical activity effects have also been observed in nonlinear optical processes, i.e. chiral molecules have a different interaction with left- and right-hand circularly-polarized light in a nonlinear optical process. Such nonlinear optical activity effects were demonstrated in secondharmonic generation (SHG) from chiral surfaces, first from chiral molecules adsorbed at an air water interface, and later from LangmuirBlodgett films from chiral molecules and polymers. The circular-difference effects observed in second-harmonic generation were much larger than in the linear optical regime and therefore this new characterization technique was put forth as a sensitive tool to study surface chirality. Owing to the similarity with traditional circular-dichroism, the technique was referred to as second-harmonic generation: circular-dichroism. The unique combination of a
Corresponding author. Tel.: 32-16-32-71-69; fax: 32-16-32-79-82. E-mail address: (A. Persoons). 0927-796X/$ see front matter # 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.mser.2003.09.002


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nonlinear optical process and circular-dichroism makes it an ideal tool to study surface chirality: second-harmonic generation is surface sensitive because of symmetry reasons and circular-dichroism is sensitive to chirality. More recently, other techniques sensitive to surface chiralty, all based on second-harmonic generation, have been demonstrated and applied in a variety of systems. In this work, we will give an overview of these techniques. Another virtue of chirality in second-order nonlinear optics is the inherent noncentrosymmetry of chiral materials, a necessary requirement for second-order nonlinear optical processes to occur. Introducing noncentrosymmetry in traditional nonlinear optical materials has always been a challenge. Because of their inherent noncentrosymmetry, chiral materials can therefore be extremely useful for nonlinear optical applications. Furthermore, it has been shown that chirality can favor the nonlinear optical response, either through supramolecular aggregation or through magnetic-dipole contributions to the nonlinear response. However, the role of chiral materials in nonlinear optics is a relatively new domain of research, and a lot of work remains to be done to optimize chiral molecules and polymers for nonlinear optical applications. In this review we give an overview of some of the recent developments in this field. When appropriate we will point out the problems that remain to be solved and give suggestions for future directions of research.

2. Optical activity and molecular structure [1] In the early 19th century, the French physicist Jean Baptiste Biot discovered that some substances of biological origin cause the polarization of the light rays passing through them to be rotated about the direction of travel. The phenomenon is known as optical rotation, and the substances which exhibit it are said to be optically active. Biot repeated the experiments of his colleague Franc ois Arago in 1812 and interpreted the effects as optical rotation. Disks of quartz crystals were placed between a polarizer and an analyzer and Biot was able to observe a rotation of the polarization of light which was different for different colors of light. His measurements enabled him to conclude that the angle of optical rotation is proportional to the thickness of the quartz plate and inversely proportional to the square of the wavelength. Biot also discovered that quartz crystals occur in two forms which rotate the polarized light in opposite directions. Two questions arose upon the study of Biot. What is the physical nature of light that makes possible the phenomena of polarization and optical rotation? What is the property of optically active molecules that enables them to rotate polarized light? Fresnel discovered circularly-polarized light, in which the electric field in the wave rotates in a circle instead of oscillating linearly (linear polarization). Fresnel explained optical rotation in terms of a transverse wave by showing mathematically that a linearly polarized ray can be composed of two circularly-polarized rays rotating in opposite directions (a right-circularly-polarized ray and a left-circularly-polarized ray) and that the direction of linear polarization rotates if the two circularly components travel through the medium at different velocities. Fresnel already suggested that a helical arrangement of molecules could explain a different interaction for the two circularlypolarizations although up to then, scientists did not know what the relation was between optical activity and molecular structure [2]. The answer was found by Louis Pasteur (1850). Pasteur made the important finding that for a number of substances the occurrence of dissymmetric (chiral) crystals was correlated with the existence of optical activity in solution [3]. In 1874 the Dutch chemist Jacobus H. vant Hoff and the French chemist Joseph A. Le Bel both published papers proposing a tetrahedral arrangement of atoms attached to carbon atoms as the basis for molecular dissymmetry. They argued that such a structure would be dissymmetric if the four atoms or radicals

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attached to carbon were different and would be symmetric if any two were identical [4,5]. The explanation of how a dissymmetric tetrahedral molecule could be the source of optical activity was put forth by Max Born in Berlin, Carl Wilhelm Oseen in Uppsala and Frank Gray in Wisconsin [68]. Their idea was to take the simplest known active molecule, CHFClBr, and examine the induced dipole in the molecule in the presence of both right- and left-circularly-polarized light: different induced dipoles would explain the difference in refractive index. The dipole induced in the molecule is different in the two cases because all the other atoms with which carbon interacts see different fields in the two waves. In 1895 the French physicist Aime Cotton found that optically active compounds showed unequal absorption of right- and left-circularly-polarized light in the wavelength region were absorption occurs [9]. Circular-dichroism, as the effect is known, was soon understood to arise from the same mechanism as optical rotation. This is because absorption occurs when the induced molecular dipole oscillates out-of-phase with the light wave. Optical rotation was already observed in the 19th century but it took some time before the scientists discovered what the link was between optical activity and molecular structure. It was Pasteur who suggested that dissymmetric crystals were correlated with optical activity. Now, we know that chiral molecules are responsible for optical activity effects. An object is chiral when it is not superimposable upon its mirror image and achiral when it is superimposable. A more practical way to evaluate if a molecule is chiral or not is to determine the symmetry elements present in a molecule. A molecule is achiral when it possesses reflectional symmetry. Reflectional symmetry exists if any of the improper symmetry elements are present (Sn, i, s). Biots findings have brought insights to important problems in physics, chemistry, and biology. Optical activity has been traced to the effects of classical interactions among electric charges in a molecule, making it possible to treat the physics of optical activity and related molecular properties. Chemistry aims to understand the behavior of increasingly complex substances in terms of their molecular structures, and optical activity has given new value to this phenomenon as a tool for determining structures. Some fields of modern biology seek to understand life at the level of molecular structure, and the optical activity of many complex biological molecules provide one of the major keys to the subtle structural features that control biological function. 2.1. Optical rotation and circular-dichroism in linear optics [10] Optical rotation is the phenomenon of rotation of linearly polarized light when passing through an optical active medium. Experimentally this can be demonstrated by placing an optically active medium between a crossed polarizer and analyzer. We can observe a leakage of light. By rotating the analyzer by some number of degrees f, no light passes trough the analyzer. So we can conclude that the optically active medium has rotated the plane of polarization by f degrees in a positive or negative (right- or left-handed) sense. Furthermore, the sense of rotation is related to the direction of propagation of the light. If the light traverses the same medium in each of the opposite directions as when it is returned trough the medium by reflection at a mirror, the net rotation vanishes. The question of what is happening when light passes through an optically active medium is easily answered at the macroscopic level. The linearly polarized light can be replaced by the representation of two circularly-polarized beams travelling, respectively, clockwise and counterclockwise. Then if the material exhibits different properties with respect to the two beams, for example, that its indices of refraction are different for right-circularly-polarized light than for left-circularly-polarized light, one of the components will lag behind the otherthe lag being proportional to the difference between the two indices of refraction and the length of the path through the material and inversely


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+y -y




Entering the active medium

Leaving the active medium

Fig. 1. After leaving the active medium the plane-polarized wave will be rotated by (yr yl )/2 from its original orientation.

proportional to the wavelength of the light. To examine the meaning of the statement that one component will lag behind the other, we will determine the values of the right-circularly-polarized beam, Er and of the left-circularly-polarized beam, El at a time the values of their phases, yr and yl (initially identical) will differ because the refractive indices nr and nl are unequal (Fig. 1). The amplitude of the plane-wave propagating in the z-direction and polarized along the x-direction can be described by the following equation: x E E0^ cos y (1)

x where y 2pnt nz=c, and E0 is the maximum amplitude of the wave, and ^ is the unit vector in the direction of the x-axis. The two circularly-polarized waves composing this plane-wave are given by x y Er E0 ^ cos yr ^ sin yr El E0 ^ cos yl ^ sin yl x y (2) (3)

where ^ is the unit vector in the y-direction. Initially yr yl y, after passing through the optically y active medium, they will differ. From the definition of y, we can describe yr and yl as  nr z yr 2pn t (4) c  nl z (5) yl 2pn t c 2pnz (6) nl nr yr yl c The difference, which is known as the phase lag, is just twice the angle by which the incident planepolarized wave has been rotated by the optically active medium. This can be seen when we represent the two circularly-polarized waves by a plane-polarized wave x y E Er El E0^cos yr cos yl E0^sin yr sin yl ; 1 1 E 2E0 cos 2 yr yl ^ cos 2 yr yl ^ sin 1 yr yl x y 2


We now see that because yr 6 yl , E must now have an x and y component (^ and ^). E is therefore no x y longer parallel to the x-axis. From Fig. 1 it can be seen that E is now a plane-polarized wave rotated by (yr yl =2 from its original orientation in the xz plane. This rotation is caused by the difference

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in refraction nr nl of the optically active medium. The relation between the rotation and the difference in the indices of refraction is d yr yl pnz nl nr c 2 (8)

or since the wavelength l c=n d pz nl nr l (9)

d is thus the angle by which the plane-polarized wave has been rotated in traversing the optically active medium of thickness z. More commonly, the rotation is specified in degrees per decimeter f 1800 nl nr l (10)

It is important to remember that we have been discussing a transparent optically active material for which Kl and Kr % 0 (where K is the complex part of the refractive index and is linked to x y absorption). Otherwise the amplitudes of the components E0^ and E0^ of the circularly-polarized radiation would have to be modified not only by the phase angle y which describes the velocity difference with which they travel through the medium, but also by an exponential factor exp4pKl z=l and exp4pKr z=l, which describes how each of the circularly-polarized beams is differentially absorbed as it travels through z cm of the active material (circular-dichroism). If the optically active medium is not transparent at the wavelength of the incident radiation, then the transmitted intensity is substantially reduced, but not precisely the same amount as the isotropic absorption measured under the same conditions using unpolarized light. Not only do the two circularly-polarized beams leave the material out-of-phase, but also one of the components is absorbed more strongly than the other. The ellipticity c, which is a measure of the eccentricity of the ellipse results, of course, from the differential absorption of the circularly-polarized component beams. The ellipse may be characterized by the angle c whose tangent is equal to the ratio of the major to the minor amplitudes of the ellipse. Therefore tan C jEr j jEl j jEr j jEl j (11)

El and Er are of course no longer equal when the extinction for left- and right-circularly-polarized light are different. When we express them in terms of the extinction difference, the function on the right-hand-side of Eq. (11) can be shown to be equal to the hyperbolic tangent, tanh pKl Kr z=l. The hyperbolic tangent of c is very nearly equal to c for values of c less than 1. The measured ellipticity is rarely greater than 1 even for short wavelengths, because the extinction difference Kl Kr is rarely greater than 106 or 107. Consequently C pz Kl Kr l (12)

In the more commonly used units for absorption, the extinction coefficient e (in M1 cm1) is related to the absorption index by e 4pK 2; 3lC (13)


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Eout E(M)

Fig. 2. Optical activity can be understood intuitively. If we consider light that is vertically polarized and incident on a chiral isotropic medium, a vertically directed polarization and magnetization will be created inside the medium. Both polarization and magnetization act as new sources of radiation: the polarization radiates a vertically polarized field, while the magnetization radiates a horizontally polarized field. The sum of both fields is a new field with its polarization rotated over an angle y, depending on the relative magnitude of P and M. The rotation angle y has the same magnitude but differs in sign for both enantiomers. In the absence of magnetic interaction, no optical rotation can occur.

where C is the concentration in moles per liter. Substituting in Eq. (12), the ellipticity in radians is c 1 2; 3Czel er 4 The circular-difference can also be expressed as a normalized quantity De/e De 2el er e el er 2.2. Polarization and magnetization in linear optics [11] Another approach to optical activity in linear optics can be made starting from the linear polarization and magnetization induced by the electric field E and magnetic field B of the incoming light up to the first-order within the magnetic-dipole transition (Fig. 2) P wee1 E wem1 B M wme1 E (16) (17) (15) (14)

where wee is the first-order (or linear) susceptibility and wem, wme are the first-order chiral (or magnetic) susceptibilities. The superscript e refers to an electric-dipole transition and the superscript m refers to a magnetic-dipole transition. For example, wem refers to an interaction where a photon is annihilated through a magnetic-dipole interaction and a photon is being created through an electric-dipole interaction. The ladder diagrams for the susceptibilities wee, wem and wme are given in Fig. 3. The susceptibilities wem and wme are only present in chiral media and are responsible for all optical activity effects in linear optics. The two first-order chiral susceptibilities can be related to each other: wem wme . Notice that for a nonresonant excitation, wee is a real quantity while wem and wme are imaginary quantities. For an achiral medium the refractive index can be related to the linear susceptibility n2 1 4pwee (18)

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e e e

m m


Fig. 3. Ladder diagrams for the susceptibilities wee, wem, and wme. For wee, one photon is annihilated and one photon is created through an electric-dipole interaction. For wem, the output photon is created while for wme, the input photon is annhilated by a magnetic interaction.

Based on an expression stated in [10], we find that for a chiral medium, this equation becomes nr p o 1 4pwee i8p2 wem ; c nl p o 1 4pwee i8p2 wem c (19)

As a result, the presence of the magnetic susceptibility explains the difference in refractive index for left- and right-circularly-polarized light, which makes optical rotation possible.

3. Nonlinear optics So far, we have considered optical activity of chiral compounds in linear optics. The most commonly observed effects are linear, one-photon optical processes. Rayleigh light scattering, onephoton absorption, reflection, and refraction are examples of linear optical processes. However, when the fundamental intensity of the light source becomes sufficiently intense, one can detect twoand three-photon processes such as hyper-Rayleigh scattering [12], sum-frequency generation [13], second- and third-harmonic generation, the electro-optic effect, etc. [14]. These nonlinear optical effects were already predicted theoretically in the first-half of the 20th century, but could, because of the high intensities needed, only be experimentally observed after the development of the laser in the 1960s. When a medium is subject to an optical field, the electric field polarizes the molecules of that medium. We assume that the medium is nonconducting and nonmagnetic and that the electrons are tightly bound to the nuclei (as compared with their attraction to the nuclei of neighboring molecules). Then, within the electric-dipole approximation, the induced charge distribution can be described on a molecular (macroscopic) scale by the induced electric-dipole moment m (the polarization P) [15] m er and P Ner (21) (20)

with e the electric charge, r the displacement induced by the electric field, and N the electron density. The induced electric-dipole moment and polarization are, still in the assumption of a relatively weak electric field, linearly dependent on the electric field. m aE (22)


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and P w1 E (23)

with a the linear polarizability, and w(1), the first susceptibility. Note that the susceptibility of a medium is related to its dielectric constant and index of refraction by n2 o eo 1 4pw1 o. On the other hand, when the amplitude of the incident electric field is sufficiently large, we have to include higher-order interactions. Such intense fields can easily be generated by lasers. The induced electricdipole moment and polarization become . m aE b : EE g.EEE . and . . P w1 E w2 : EE w3 .EEE (25) (24)

with b the second-order polarizability or first nonlinear polarizability, and w(2) the second-order susceptibility or first nonlinear susceptibility. In this review, we will focus on the second-order effects originating from the second-order susceptibility, w(2), more specifically, second-harmonic generation. Second-harmonic generation is the generation of light with the double frequency of the incident radiation. The origin of second-harmonic generation can be understood by describing the fundamental electric field in Eq. (25) as E E0 cosot kz (26)

with E0 the electric-field amplitude, o the frequency, and kz the relative phase. Substitution in Eq. (25) gives
2 P w1 E0 cosot kz 1 w2 E0 1 cos2ot 2kz 2


This equation clearly demonstrates the presence of components at other frequencies than the fundamental frequency of the input field. There is a part that is frequency-independent, giving rise to the phenomenon known as optical rectification. In addition, there is also a contribution at the double frequency which is a second-harmonic generation. 3.1. Tensor properties of the nonlinear susceptibility w Note that the second-order susceptibility, w(2), although treated thus far as a scalar, is actually a tensor (see Eq. (25)). A tensor describes the relation between different vectors, in this case between all the components of the polarization and the electric-field vectors. w(2) is a third-rank tensor and contains 27 (3 3 3) elements. Fortunately, this large number of tensor of elements can be often reduced by taking into account the symmetry of the system. The principle of Neumann states that under any symmetry operation on the system, the sign and the amplitude of the physical properties have to remain unchanged [16]. In order to illustrate the strength of this principle, we will take the case of a centrosymmetric system. We will examine the influence of the inversion symmetry on the polarization that leads to

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second-harmonic generation. P2 w2 E2 (28)

Under inversion, the electric field and the polarization transform as E ! E and P ! P. Eq. (28) then becomes P2 w2 E2 w2 E2 ) P2 w2 E2 (29)

As we can see, the sign of the second-order polarization has changed under inversion. According to the principle of Neumann, the second-order susceptibility w(2) has to be zero or otherwise stated, no second-harmonic generation can be observed from a centrosymmetric system. Alternatively, one can compare Eqs. (28) and (29) P2 w2 E2 w2 E2 (30)

This relation can only be valid if w2 0. This expression has great importance in second-harmonic generation. Only noncentrosymmetric systems will give a second-harmonic response. This condition is easily fulfilled on the molecular level by constructing a DpA system where an electrondonor is connected to an electronacceptor by a p-conjugated system [17]. One of the textbook examples is para-nitroaniline (Fig. 4). However, on the macroscopic level, these DpA systems take a randomly distributed orientation and we end up with a centrosymmetric situation which is not able to give rise to second-harmonic generation. This is why on the macroscopic level, we still have to introduce a polar order in our systems. This can be achieved by electric-field poling, crystal growth, the LangmuirBlodgett technique [18], self-assembly, liquid crystals, etc. Nevertheless, some of these techniques still suffer from some disadvantages: relaxation will occur after electric-field poling [19]. The LangmuirBlodgett technique is time consuming and the films obtained by this way have often low optical quality which is also the problem with self-assembled films. Crystal growth is a tedious process and not every system crystallizes in a noncentrosymmetric crystal and liquid crystals tend to have low nonlinearity due to detrimental aggregation. This is the point where chirality can be introduced in nonlinear optics. A chiral molecule is inherently noncentrosymmetric and even a random distribution of enantiomerically pure molecules will never lead to systems with inversion symmetry. This is the reason why nonlinear optical processes as SFG are possible in solutions [13,20]. When including magnetic-dipole and quadrupole interaction noncentrosymmetry is not a strict requirement any more to observe a second-harmonic response [21]. However, most systems can be explained within the electric-dipole approximation although we have observed some materials were electric-dipole approximation fails to describe the nonlinear response. We still need to take a closer look to reduce the components of the susceptibility tensor w(2). To clearly indicate the tensor properties of w(2), we have to rewrite Eq. (28) as X 2 2 wijk Ej Ek (31) Pi

H 2N


Fig. 4. Paranitroaniline.


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where the subscripts ijk refer to the Cartesian coordinates in the laboratory frame. As an example, we will examine the influence of a mirror plane in the yz plane on the second-order susceptibility. Under reflection in this plane the coordinates transform as x ! x y ! y z!z (32)

The physical quantities in Eq. (31) transform as Ex ! Ex Px ! Px Ey ! Ey Py ! Py Ez ! Ez Pz ! Pz (33)

Now, we have to examine the effect of the mirror plane on each tensor component. For the component wxxx the reflection will transform the relation Px wxxx Ex Ex into Px wxxx Ex Ex wxxx Ex Ex ) Px wxxx Ex Ex . Then because of the principle of Neumann wxxx 0. As a second example, consider the relation Px wxxz Ex Ez . This will be transformed into Px wxxz Ex Ez wxxz Ex Ez ) Px wxxz Ex Ez . Therefore, since the sign of the tensor component wxxz remains unchanged, the component will not be cancelled under reflection. To simplify this procedure, Fumi has derived a technique called the direct inspection method [22]. It was demonstrated that the components of a tensor transform as the product of their respective coordinates. As a consequence, a tensor component will be zero if its index changes after a symmetry operation. In other words, the verification that wxxx wxxx after the symmetry operation can be reduced to verifying that xxx xxx. We will now analyze the susceptibility tensor w(2), for second-harmonic generation within the electric-dipole approximation for an achiral and a chiral surface that has in-plane isotropy. These surfaces have C1v- and C1-symmetry, respectively. We consider a right-handed coordinate axis system with the z-axis along the surface normal and the surface being in the xz plane. The C1v- and C1-symmetry of the surface can be treated as C4v- and C4-symmetry, respectively, because a higherorder symmetry introduces no further simplification of the susceptibility tensor (see Fig. 5). The four-fold rotation axis coincides with the z-axis. In addition, for the C4v-symmetry the mirror planes are the xz plane and the yz plane. The symmetry operations present for a chiral isotropic surface with C4-symmetry are a four-fold rotation (that implies also a two-fold rotation). Under the four-fold rotation, the coordinates transform as x!y y ! x z!z (34)

C4 Z Y-Z mirror plane Y X-Z mirror plane X Achiral surface with C4v (Cv) symmetry Z


X Chiral surface with C4 (C) symmetry

Fig. 5. Scheme presenting the main symmetry operations in a chiral and achiral isotropic surface with C4v- and C4symmetry, respectively.

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and for a two-fold rotation axis x ! x y ! y z!z (35)

Let us consider wxxx. According to the direct inspection method, we will examine the index xxx. Under two-fold rotation this index becomes xxx xxx. Thus, wxxx must vanish. Similarly, wxxy, wxyy, wyyy, wyxy, etc. will be zero. When we take a closer look to the tensor components that vanish, we conclude that every tensor component where the sum of the number of xs and ys in its index is odd must be zero. This procedure leads to the elimination of 14 components. In addition, wzxy and wzyx will also be zero because under the four-fold rotation zxy transforms into zyx. Indeed, because of intrinsic permutation symmetry (no distinction can be made between ExEy and EyEx) the last two indices can be exchanged and this results in zxy zyx zxy. Therefore wzxy, and similarly, wzyx will be zero. The total number of vanishing components is now 16. However, all remaining 11 components are not independent. For example, wzxx is related to wzyy by the four-fold symmetry. Hence, wzxx wzyy , wxzx wyzy , and wxxz wyyz . Note that because of permutation symmetry, wxzx wxxz . Therefore, the second-order susceptibility tensor, that describes the secondharmonic signal generated in a chiral isotropic surface, will have four independent components listed in Table 1. For an achiral isotropic surface, the additional two mirror planes transform the coordinates as x!x y ! y z!z (36)

for the xz mirror plane and x ! x y ! y z!z (37)

for the yz mirror plane. This causes the elimination of the four components that have three different indices: wxyz, wxzy, wyzx, and wyxz. Hence, an achiral isotropic surface can be described by the three independent components, listed in Table 1. The tensor components: wxyz, wxzy, wyzx, and wyxz are only allowed for chiral isotropic surfaces and are designated as chiral tensor components. The remaining components are allowed for all isotropic surfaces and are therefore referred to as achiral tensor components. Note that all these considerations are made within the electric-dipole approximation. As in linear optics where we described optical activity effects through magnetic-dipole interactions, one can also take account of magnetic-dipole interactions in the case of nonlinear optics. We can define the nonlinear polarization and magnetization up to the first-order in magnetic-dipole transitions as Pi 2o weee Ej Ek weem Ej Bk ijk ijk Mi 2o wmee Ej Ek ijk (38) (39)

Table 1 Nonvanishing components of the second-order susceptibility tensor for second-harmonic generation in the electric-dipole approximation for achiral and chiral isotropic surfaces Chiral isotropic surface Tensor components wijk zzz zxx zyy xxz yyz yzy xzx xyz yxz yzx xzy Achiral isotropic surface zzz zxx zyy xxz yyz yzy xzx

The surface is in the xy plane.


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e e



2 e

2 m

2 e

Fig. 6. Photon diagrams for tensors weee, weem, and wmee. For weee, two input photons of frequency o are annihilated and one photon at frequency 2o is created through electric-dipole interactions. For weem, one input photon at frequency o is annihilated by a magnetic interaction whereas the other interactions occur through electric dipoles. For wmee, on the other hand, the output photon is generated through a magnetic interaction.

The superscripts e and m, in Eqs. (38) and (39) refer to electric- and magnetic-dipole interactions, respectively. For example, the superscript eem of the susceptibility tensor weem refers to an interaction where a photon at frequency 2o is generated through an electric-dipole interaction, and two photons are annihilated by an electric- and magnetic-dipole interaction, respectively. The ladder graphs for the tensors weee, weem, wmee are given in Fig. 6. Notice also that for a nonresonant excitation, weee is a real quantity while, weem and wmee are imaginary quantities [23,24]. The numbers of components of the susceptibility tensors weem and wmee can be reduced in a similar manner as demonstrated for the tensor weee. However, there is a fundamental difference between an electricfield vector and a magnetic field vector. The first is a polar vector whereas the latter is an axial vector. A polar vector transforms as the position vector under all spatial transformations. On the other hand, an axial vector transforms as the position vector under proper transformations (rotations) only. Under improper transformations (reflection in-plane and inversion), each component of an axial vector transforms opposite to that of the position vector [21]. Let us, for example, consider the influence of a mirror plane in the yz plane. The coordinates transform as x ! x y ! y z!z (40)

Consequently, the electric quantities transform as Ex ! Ex Px ! Px Ey ! Ey Py ! Py Ez ! Ez Pz ! Pz (41)

However, the magnetic quantities will transform differently Bx ! Bx Mx ! Mx By ! By My ! My Bz ! Bz Mz ! Mz (42)

Therefore, the nonvanishing tensor components of tensor weee will be different as compared to the components of the tensors weem and wmee (see Table 2). For example, the mirror plane will transform Mz wmee Ez Ez into Mz wmee Ez Ez . Therefore, because of the principle of Neumann, wmee will be zzz zzz zzz zero for an achiral isotropic surface. For a chiral isotropic surface (C1-symmetry) weee has four independent components, weem seven, and wmee four. For an achiral isotropic surface (C1v-symmetry), the number of independent components is limited to three for weee, three for weem, and one for wmee. Note that weee and wmee possess intrinsic permutation symmetry, which results in fewer independent

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Table 2 Nonvanishing tensor components weee, weem, and wmee for isotropic chiral and achiral surfaces Tensor weee Achiral components for all isotropic surfaces zzz zxx zyy xxz xzx yyz yzy xyz yxz zxy zyx xzy yzx xyz xzy yxz yzx Additional components for chiral surfaces xyz xzy yxz yzx


zzz zxx zyy xxz yyz xzx yzy zzz zxx zyy xxz xzx yyz yzy


The surface is in the xy plane.

components. The components that are only allowed for chiral surfaces are referred to as chiral while those allowed for both chiral and achiral surfaces are called achiral tensor components. Notice also that for centrosymmetric systems, weem and wmee are not zero [21]. This means that including magnetic contributions, noncentrosymmetry is not a requirement any more in order to detect a second-harmonic response. The problem is that magnetic interactions are weaker than the electric-dipole interactions by a factor given by the fine-structure constant ($1/137) [25]. However, in practice, the relative magnitude of the various interactions can depend on the structure of the material.

4. Chirality in nonlinear optics There is a growing interest in chiral molecules for nonlinear optical purposes. The first reason is that symmetry is a very important issue for the second-harmonic response. In the electric-dipole approximation, noncentrosymmetry is a strict requirement to observe second-order NLO effects. Because chiral molecules are inherently noncentrosymmetric, they possess an electric-dipole allowed second-order and higher even-order nonlinearity. In addition, some structures are favorable for magnetic-dipole transitions for which noncentrosymmetry is not a requirement. It has been shown that chiral molecules and more specific helical molecules are such structures [26]. Besides the interest for chiral structures because of their symmetry properties, the fascination grew also because one discovered the existence of optical activity in nonlinear optics [27]. Similar effects as in linear optics were observed. Chiral molecules would have a different efficiency for the generation of second-harmonic light for left- and right-handed circularly-polarized fundamental beams. This effect is called second-harmonic generation circular-dichroism (SHG-CD). The astonishing fact was that the SHG-CD-effect is several orders of magnitude higher than ordinary circular-dichroism in linear optics. In linear optics optical activity effects arise from the interference between electric- and magnetic-dipole interactions. SHG-CD, on the contrary, can be explained within the electric-dipole approximation. Other optical activity effects observed in nonlinear optics are second-harmonic generation linear difference (SHG-LD), for which there is no analogue in linear optics. As we already mentioned, second-harmonic generation is only allowed in noncentrosymmetric structures. Centrosymmetry, however will always be broken at surfaces and interfaces between two


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centrosymmetric media and consequently the surface or interface can act as a source for secondharmonic light when irradiated with laser light [28]. As SHG is sensitive to surfaces and CD-SHG is an effect specific to chiral materials, SHG-CD can be used to investigate chiral surfaces and interfaces. In this review, we will demonstrate the usefulness of this technique as a tool to study chiral surfaces. SHG-CD can be used to probe chiral surfaces but, on the other hand, chirality can also be applied in nonlinear optics to enhance the nonlinear response. First, because chiral molecules are inherently noncentrosymmetric, and polar order is therefore not a strict requirement. Second, the nonlinear optical response originates from electric-dipole transitions as well as from magnetic-dipole transitions. Hence, one could enhance the overall nonlinear response through magnetic-dipole contributions. 4.1. SHG from chiral films: basic theory We consider an experimental configuration that is schematically shown in Fig. 7. A laser beam at frequency o is incident on the sample with isotropic surface symmetry. The symmetry of such a sample is broken in the direction of the surface normal (z-direction); however, arbitrary rotations about the surface normal remain symmetry operations. For an achiral surface, reflection in a plane containing the surface normal is an additional symmetry operation. The symmetry groups of the achiral and chiral isotropic surfaces are C1v and C1, respectively. The fundamental beam can be expressed in terms of the ps basis as [29,30] sE Eo ~ p o ~ s o pE (43)

where Ep(o) and Es(o) are the p- and s-polarized components of the field and the respective unit vectors are related to the Cartesian (x, y, z) vectors by ~ ~ s y; ~ ~ cos y ~sin y p x z (44)

where y is the angle of incidence. Note that x, y, z are the natural basis for analyzing the symmetry properties of the sample. We assume that the nonlinear layer is sufficiently thin that its linear optical
Z 2 Reflection

p s

p s
Thin film or surface


p s
2 Transmission

Fig. 7. Geometry of second-harmonic generation from a thin film or surface. The fundamental beam at frequency o is incident on the film at angle y. The p- and s-polarized second-harmonic fields are generated in reflected and transmitted directions.

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activity does not appreciably mix the p- and s-polarized components of the fundamental or secondharmonic fields. The nonlinear interaction of the fundamental field with the material can be described by the nonlinear polarization and magnetization up to first-order in the magnetic-dipole interaction: Pi 2o weee Ej Ek weem Ej Bk ijk ijk Mi 2o wmee Ej Ek ijk (45) (46)

The nonlinear polarization P(2o) and magnetization M(2o) act as sources of second-harmonic radiation. The electric-field amplitude of the second-harmonic generation is directly proportional to the two sources. In addition, the magnetic field B(o) depends linearly on the electric field E(o). As a consequence, we can write the second-harmonic generated field as
2 2 Ei 2o fi Ep o gi Es o hi Ep oEs o


where fi, gi and hi are linear combinations of the components of the nonlinear susceptiblities weee, weem and wmee, respectively. The detailed forms of the coefficients are different depending on which contributions are included in the theory. We will only consider explicitly electric- and magneticdipole interactions. In principle, one could also include electric-quadrupole interactions. The reason that we do not include them here is that the magnetic-dipole interactions are actually somewhat stronger than the quadrupole interactions. Furthermore, the importance of magnetic interactions in chiral media is well established and one can argue that chirality favors the magnetic interaction [3133]. Furthermore, the general symmetry properties of magnetic-dipole and electricquadrupole interactions are very similar in second-order nonlinear optics, making separation between the two is extremely difficult [30]. Hence, the quadrupole interaction is implicitly included in the magnetic-dipole interaction. This approach simplifies the discussion considerably and also facilitates highlighting the different symmetry properties of the electric-dipole and higher-multipole interactions. The detailed form of the coefficients f, g, and h is also dependent on the symmetry of the sample. For an achiral and chiral isotropic surface, we derived the different independent components of the second-order susceptibility within the electric-dipole approximation, i.e. weee. As mentioned before fi, gi and hi are linear combinations of the components of the nonlinear susceptiblities weee, weem and wmee, respectively [29]:
Rs fTs sin y2weee cos y weem wmee sin2 y wmee cos2 y 2wmee cos2 y xyz xzx zzz zxx xxz

(48) (49) (50)

gRs sin yweem wmee Ts xxz zxx hRs sin y2weee weem weem cos y 2wmee cos y Ts xxz xzy xyz xyz
Rp fTp sin yweee sin2 y weee cos2 y 2weee cos2 y weem cos y weem cos y 2wmee cos y zzz zxx xxz zxy xzy xyz

(51) gRp sin yweee weem cos y weem cos y Tp zxx zxy xyz hRp sin y2weee cos y weem weem sin2 y weem weem cos2 y 2wmee Tp xyz zzz zxx xzx xxz xxz (52) (53)


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where R and T refer to the second-harmonic fields generated in reflection and transmission direction, respectively, s refers to the polarization of the detected signal, y is the angle of incidence, and the surface normal is along the z-direction. The chiral components are those that are nonvanishing only for chiral surfaces, the achiral components are nonvanishing for chiral and achiral surfaces. It is clear that for an achiral surface only hs is nonvanishing (i.e. hs is an achiral component), while for a chiral surface fs, gs and hs are nonvanishing (fs and gs are therefore chiral components). Note also that the coefficient gs vanishes in the electric-dipole approximation. If we analyze the equations for p-polarized detection, we can see that the mean difference is that f and g are the achiral components and h is the chiral component for p-polarized detection. We can conclude from Eq. (47) that the coefficients fi, gi and hi can be considered as susceptibility components in the ps basis. However, to make the formalism easier, we have included in these coefficients the linear indices of refraction of the surface layer and the surrounding media. We will consider throughout this paper s- and p-polarized detection. This is important because the role of f, g, and h as chiral or achiral components is reversed between the s- and p-polarized second-harmonic signals. Consequently, a detection scheme that mixes p and s polarizations, gives rise to nonzero values of the three coefficients, even though the sample is achiral. This problem will be treated in a later chapter [3436]. 4.2. Circular-difference and linear-difference effects in second-harmonic generation In linear optics, chiral materials interact differently with left- and right-hand circularlypolarized light. Chiral materials have a different linear absorbance and refractive index for the two different circular polarizations. One can probe these different characteristics by two measurements. An example of such a measurement is circular-dichroism: the difference in output intensity is measured for left- and right-hand circularly-polarized input light. In the case of nonresonant excitation, one cannot use circularly-polarized input light to probe the difference in refractive index for the two polarizations, because this leads to no difference in the output intensity. In this case it is better to use linearly-polarized input light, which is composed of equal amounts of the two circularly-polarized components. Because of the difference in refractive index for the circularlypolarized components, the linearly-polarized light will be rotated while travelling through the chiral material. Also in nonlinear optics, optical rotation can be observed. In nonlinear optics, chiral materials will also interact differently with left- and right-hand circularly-polarized input light, i.e. nonlinear optical activity. In linear optics these effects arise from an interference between electric and magnetic susceptibilities. As we will point out, this is not always the case for nonlinear optical activity. First, we will consider circular-difference effects in second-harmonic generation (SHG-CD). For the case of circularly-polarized fundamental beams, Ep o iEs o, the intensity of the second-harmonic field is found from Eq. (47) to be I2o jf g ihj2 jEs oj4 (54)

The circular-difference response is arising from the interference between the quantities gf and h. Since fs and gs and hp are zero for an achiral surface, no circular-difference effect can occur for p- or s-polarized detection. Hence, the circular-difference effect will only occur for chiral materials and the effect will change sign for the two enantiomers of the sample. Also for a CD-effect to occur, there has to be a phase difference between gf and h. The circular-difference response can be

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described by a normalized quantity (as in linear optics De/e): DI2o ILHC 2o IRHC 2o I2o jILHC 2o IRHC 2oj=2 (55)

where LHC and RHC stand for left- and right-hand circularly-polarized fundamental beams, respectively. Within the electric-dipole approximation this phase difference will exist if the fundamental and/or second-harmonic frequencies are tuned close to resonance frequencies of the material. On the other hand, when we include magnetic-dipole interactions, the required phase difference will also exist for nonresonant excitation. Note that for a chiral material the two conditions, interference between chiral and achiral expansion coefficients and a phase difference between these coefficients, have to be fulfilled simultaneously. Therefore, the lack of an SHG-CD-effect cannot be used to conclude that the material is achiral. Because SHG-CD is a resonance technique, it can be useful to probe the SHG-CD-response as a function of the SH wavelength. These spectra are similar to the UV spectra as expected by the relationship between SHG and resonance [27]. We can also use linear input polarizations to probe surface chirality. For the case of linear polarizations that are rotated by 458 from the p-polarized direction, Ep Es and the intensity of the second-harmonic field is I2o j f g hj2 jEs oj4 (56)

This result implies that in order to observe a linear-difference effect (SHG-LD), f g and h must be nonvanishing (the material has to be chiral) and f g and h have to be in-phase. The difference can therefore exist in nonresonant excitation in the electric-dipole approximation. In this respect, lineardifference effects are complementary to circular-difference effects in SHG (where a phase difference between the expansion coefficients is required) [37,38]. This linear-difference response has no analogue in linear optics. However, a nonlinear analogue of linear-optical rotation does exist and is called secondharmonic generation optical rotatory dispersion (SHG-ORD) [30,37]. The main constraint of SHG-CD is the fact that this technique is a resonance technique, like ordinary CD spectroscopy. The requirement of complex susceptibility tensor components, limits SHG-CD to regions of the spectrum in which the molecules absorb light (o or 2o). SHG-ORD, on the other hand, is a technique that is surface sensitive, chiral selective but not constrained to resonant wavelengths. The basic idea of SHG-ORD is to use linearly-polarized fundamental light and to observe the polarization maximum of the outgoing SHG signal as a function of the rotation angle f. The observed SHG-ORD will be characterized by the angle f, which is the amount of rotation of the SHG signal in comparison with a 5050 mixture of enantiomers (an achiral surface). The f can be defined as f tan1 R2o where R(2o) is the ratio of the s-polarized component to the p-polarized component R2o
2 2 Es 2o fs Ep o gs Es o hs Ep oEs o 2 2 Ep 2o fp Ep o gp Es o hp Ep oEs o




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when using p-polarized fundamental light, the expression is considerably simplified   1 fs f tan fp


The angle f is dependent upon the chirality of the sample. The chirality of the sample is reflected through the sign and magnitude of fs. As we know, the sign of fs reverses between two enantiomers, and the sign of the achiral coefficient fp does not change. As a consequense, f changes sign between the two enantiomers. Using this relationship, different enantiomers of a chiral molecule can be distinguished by the sign of the SHG-ORD rotation angle. The magnitude of the SHG-ORD effect will depend on the ratio of chiral and achiral components. f will be large if fs is not zero and large compared to fp. No resonance is required for SHG-ORD to occur, though, fs can be resonantly enhanced which would increase the ratio in Eq. (59). Note also that the rotation angle is limited to 908, while in linear optics optical rotation can add up unlimited by propagating through the chiral medium. 4.3. Continuous polarization measurements In the previous section, we introduced SHG-CD and SHG-LD and SHG-ORD as nonlinear techniques to probe surface chirality. While these techniques are useful for the detection of surface chirality, it is difficult to differentiate between the enantiomers. However, all structural information is embedded in the nonlinear susceptibility tensors. Hence, it would be extremely useful to know the relative values of all components of this tensor. Here we describe a method that is able to determine the relative complex values of the coefficients f, g and h (which are related to weee, weem and wmee) for various second-harmonic signals in a unique way. The method is based on a series of continuous polarization measurements. The polarization of the fundamental is continuously varied by a rotating quarter-wave plate (QWP). The intensity of the second-harmonic light is recorded, in transmission and reflection as a function of the rotation angle of the quarter-wave plate. Such measurements are referred to as polarization measurements. In this case the polarization pattern also contains information on the circular-difference response. However, polarization measurements provide also direct information on the chirality of the sample. We can write the p- and s-polarized components of the fundamental beam as Ep o E0 cos2 j i sin2 j Pj Es o E0 sin j cos j1 i Sj (60) (61)

where E0 is the amplitude of the initial fundamental field, j is the rotation angle between the ppolarized direction and the axis of the wave plate, and P(j) and S(j) represent the functional dependence of the fundamental-field components on the rotation angle. The intensity of the secondharmonic field then has the general functional form (cf. Eq. (47)): Ij jE2oj2 jfP2 j gS2 j hPjSjj2 (62)

When the detected signal is s-polarized and the surface is achiral, the only nonvanishing expansion coefficient is hs. The polarization pattern of the second-harmonic intensity then has the form: Is j jh2 jjPjSjj2 s (63)

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second-harmonic intensity (a.u.)

second-harmonic intensity (a.u.)

0. 5


-180-135-90 -45 0 45 90 135 180 Rotation angle ( degrees) (a)

-180-135 -90 -45 0 45 90 135 180 Rotation angle ( degrees) (b)

Fig. 8. (a) Normalized line shape of s-polarized signals for quarter-wave plate measurements for an achiral, isotropic surface. (b) Normalized line shape of p-polarized signal for quarter-wave plate measurements for a chiral, isotropic surface.

This pattern is shown in Fig. 8(a). This is a typical line shape for an achiral surface and any deviation would imply that the surface is chiral. Note that this result is independent of the existence or lack of a phase difference between the components fs, hs, and gs. When we detect the p-polarized second-harmonic signal, the nonzero expansion coefficients for an achiral surface are fp and gp. Therefore there does not exist a typical achiral line shape for p-polarized detected signals, however we can find evidence of chirality in the properties of the line shape of p-polarized signals. One can see that in the case of an achiral sample the second-harmonic intensity is Ip j jfp P2 j gp S2 jj2 (64)

which is an even function of the rotation angle j, because P2(j) and S2(j) are even functions of j. On the other hand, for the case of a chiral sample, the intensity has the general form of Eq. (62), which has no well defined parity with respect to j. Hence, when there does not exist a mirror plane in respect to the 1808 rotation angle j, the sample is chiral. Chirality leads to a left-right asymmetry in the polarization pattern Ip(j) (Fig. 8(b)). This asymmetry is reversed if the handedness of the sample is reversed. Similar arguments are also valid for the s-polarized second-harmonic signals. We can conclude that the lack of a mirror plane in respect to the 1808 rotation angle j in the p- or s-polarized signals is an evidence of chirality. While, for SHG-CD and SHG-LD effects certain requirements of resonance are to be fulfilled in order to detect the chirality of a sample, asymmetry in the polarization pattern is a direct evidence of chirality. The phase relation between the achiral and chiral components will only change the details of the asymmetry. Quantitative information can be obtained from these patterns by fitting them to the following equation [39]:
1 I2o 16 fRe gRe 4fIm cos 2y fRe gRe cos 4y 2hIm sin 2y hRe sin 4y2 I 2 o 1 16 fIm gIm 4fRe cos 2y fIm gIm cos 4y 2hRe sin 2y hIm sin 4y2 I 2 o

(65) where fRe, gRe, hRe, fIm, gIm, and hIm, are the real and imaginary parts of the coefficients f, g, and h respectively, and y is the rotation angle of the quarter-wave plate. From this equation, one can extract the values of f, g, and h. To fit the experimental results, it is necessary to fix the overall phase. This can be done, for example, by defining h as a real quantity (hIm 0). The values found for the coefficients f, g, and h can then subsequently be used to calculate the values of the components of the


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second-order susceptibility, w(2). Note that both phase and magnitude of all tensor components are relative values. The absolute phase cannot be determined because of the arbitrary choice of hIm 0. In addition, all second-harmonic intensities are recorded in arbitrary units, so that no absolute magnitude of a component can be calculated. However, absolute values of a component can be determined by calibration with a quartz wedge [40]. 4.4. Extramaterial chirality Chirality is usually associated with molecular structure and gives rise to optical activity effects in linear optics as well as in nonlinear optics. The sign of the effect will also change between the two enantiomers of the molecule. Optical activity effects can also arise from achiral samples. This has been observed in linear optics: the efficiency for photoelectron emission from oriented molecules was different for left- and right-hand circularly-polarized light. This was the case if the molecular axis, the wave vector of the incoming light and the direction of detection of photoelectrons were not coplanar [4143]. Such optical activity effects are possible if the experimental setup itself was chiral, i.e. possesses a definite handedness and is characterized by three noncoplanar vectors. The same findings were made in nonlinear optics: if the experimental setup could be defined by three noncoplanar vectors, i.e. was chiral, optical activity effects would occur even if the sample was achiral. Three different cases were investigated. First, a similar experiment as in linear optics was carried out. The chirality in the setup was introduced by using two input beams: a control beam and a probe beam [34]. By using linear control polarizations, the reflection symmetry of the setup is broken and leads to different second-harmonic efficiency for left- and right-hand circular probe polarizations. Moreover, also circular control polarizations can be used to break the reflection symmetry. A film of polymaleimide functionalized by a disperse-red-type chromophore was spincoated and gave an C1v-symmetry after poling. The polar axis coincides with the surface normal. The wave vectors k1 and k2 of the control and probe beam are in the same plane of incidence (Fig. 9). When the polarization of the control beam is considered, the setup is chiral. In the first experiment, control beams with linear polarization were used. The two control polarizations are related to each other by reflection in the plane of incidence. A circular-difference response was observed and changed sign when the handedness of the setup was reversed. The magnitude of the effects was $15%. In the second experiment, circular control polarizations were used. Also in this case (in contrast to the photoemission effect) a circular-difference response was observed. The spin of the control polarization can be

k1+k2 2 QWP probe beam k2

surface normal QWP k2 probe beam

k1+k2 2

surface normal thin film

thin film k1 s (s p) / p

k1 s (s ip) / 2 p

Fig. 9. Experimental setup. Two beams at the fundamental frequency are applied on the same spot of an isotropic achiral surface. The wave vectors of the beam (k1 and k2) are in the same plane of incidence. Second-harmonic light is detected in the transmitted direction k1 k2 . The reflection symmetry of the setup can be broken with linear (a) or circular (b) control polarizations. In both cases, the setup can possess two opposite handednesses. The probe polarization is controlled by a rotating quarter-wave plate.

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p z s k x -y

Fig. 10. Experimental geometry: fundamental laser beam (wave vector k, s- and p-polarized field components) is incident on the sample at an angle y. The azimuthal rotation of the sample is characterized by f. The arrows on the sample indicate the alignment of the achiral molecules along the dipping direction that creates the anisotropy axis. The anisotropy axis and the surface normal are along the x- and z-directions, respectively.

associated with a coordinate system with a well-defined handedness. The circular-difference effects were much larger ($80%) then in the first experiment. The chirality of the setup was defined by the control polarization, the probe polarization and the surface normal. These three noncoplanar vectors broke the reflection symmetry. Other combinations of noncoplanar vectors associated with an experimental setup can be found. When the orientation of the molecules does not coincide with the surface normal, the setup becomes chiral for some orientations of the film in respect with the incident beam. In this case the surface normal, the ansitropy axis and the input beam form a coordinate system with a definite handedness. Such an anisotropic LangmuirBlodgett film of an achiral material was investigated [44]. Fig. 10 shows that for some orientations the setup becomes chiral. Note that for the angles f 0 or 1808 and y 0 or 1808, the plane of incidence is a mirror plane and the setup is achiral. For any other values of these angles, the setup is chiral and the handedness can be reversed by reflection operations. The experiments were carried out with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm, 50 Hz, $10 ns). The sample is mounted on a rotation stage and is allowed to rotate around its surface normal. The experimental results for all combinations of the angles y and f are summarized in Table 3. As expected, no circular-difference effects were observed for f 0 and 1808. For the value f 90 , substantial difference effects were observed and changed sign when the sign of f was reversed. The magnitude of the difference effects remains unchanged. Furthermore, the difference effects also change sign between positive and negative angles of incidence y. These results show that the circular-difference response reverses sign as the handedness of the sample orientation is reversed, i.e. as one of the angles y and f changes sign.
Table 3 Experimentally observed circular-difference effects DI/I 2Il Ir /Il Ir for different sample orientations f and angles of incidence y Incidence angle y (8) 43 Sample orientation f (8) 0, 180 90 90 0, 180 90 90 Circular-difference effect (%) (0 2) (6 1) (7 1) (1 2) (7 1) (8 1)


The intensity of the p-polarized second-harmonic field in transmission was detected.


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The theoretical origin of these results can be found in the fact that the expansion coefficients fi, gi, and hi, which describe the nonlinear response, are dependent not only on the nonlinear susceptibility components and the angle of incidence y, but also on the azimuthal rotation angle f. It can be shown in general that f g or h, but not both reverses sign under reflection operation. Hence, the circular-difference effects are expected to change sign as the handedness is changed. The question was now how to distinguish between circular-difference effects arising from anisotropy and the chirality of the sample. Two possible solutions were put forth. First, one can do a full analysis of the tensor components, taking into account that the equations of fi, gi and hi will depend on the azimuthal rotation angle f. A measurement technique was presented in [35]. A chiral, anisotropic film with C2-symmetry was prepared from a helicene bisquinone. Because the material is chiral, one must be concerned about the possibilities of magnetic contributions to the nonlinearities. However, no evidence of magnetic contributions could be found in these films. LangmuirBlodgett films of the chiral material were prepared. The fundamental beam of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm, 8 ns, $1 mJ, 50 Hz) generated the second-harmonic light at 532 nm. First, the symmetry of the films was determined. The second-harmonic signal was recorded as a function of the azimuthal rotation angle. The pattern indicated that film had a C2symmetry. As mentioned earlier, polarization measurements can be used to calculate the values of the tensor components. The measurement technique proposed in [35] is based on these polarization measurements. Polarization measurements were done for three different azimuthal rotation angles f (0, 45, and 908). The solutions for the tensor components are given in Table 4. Because of the anisotropy of the sample, the individual tensor components shown in Table 4 are anisotropic. They change value when the polarization measurements would be carried out for other azimuthal rotation angles. Only certain combinations (also shown in Table 4) are isotropic and can be uniquely classified as chiral or achiral. The achiral isotropic combinations are wzzz, wzxx wzyy , wxxz wyyz and the chiral isotropic combination is wxyz wyxz . The results show that the chiral part of the nonlinearity completely dominates the response of the sample. A second way to distinguish between circular-difference effects arising from chirality of the material and the chirality present in the setup is to examine SHG-CD as a function of the azimuthal rotation angle f [36]. The experiments were performed on a LangmuirBlodgett film of a nonracemic helicene shown in Fig. 11. The sample had a C2-symmetry. For such a symmetry the circular-difference response as a function of the azimuthal rotation angle is DI a1 a cos 2f b sin 2f c cos 4f d sin 4f
Table 4 Determined values of the components of the susceptibility tensor Tensor component or isotropic combination xxz yyz xyz yxz zzz zxx zyy zxy xyz yxz xxz yyz zxx zyy The magnitudes are referenced to quartz (0.3 pm/V). Results 1.18 1.58 28.84 32.09 4.42 2.59 4.60 3.52 60.93 2.76 7.18 i0.62 i1.02 i9.33 i11.44 i2.16 i0.13 i1.74 i1.16 i20.77 i0.40 i1.62 Magnitude (pm/V) 1.0 1.5 24 26 3.8 2.0 3.8 2.9 50 2.2 5.7


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OC 12H 25


C12 H25O S C12H25O


Fig. 11. Helicene bisquinone.

where the coefficients a1, a, b, c, and d are functions of the susceptibility components and of the angle of incidence y. This expression implies that the circular-difference response DI, depends on the azimuthal rotation angle f. It is comprised of a component that varies sinusoidally superimposed on one, a1, that is isotropic. If the sample would be achiral and consequently have a C2v-symmetry, the circular-difference response reduces to DI b0 sin 2f d0 sin 4f (67)

where b0 and d0 are coefficients that depend on the susceptibility components and the angle of incidence y. An important difference between Eqs. (66) and (67) is the absence of the isotropic part a1. As a consequence the average of Eq. (67) over 3608 is always zero, while that of Eq. (66) is not. One can conclude that chirality of materials is linked to a nonzero rotational average for DI, which provides a way to differentiate nonlinear optical CD-effects originating from chirality and those originating from anisotropy. We measured the CD-response as a function of the azimuthal rotation angle f. The resulting pattern is shown in Fig. 12. The sinusoidal variation indicates that the sample is highly anisotropic. Moreover, a1, the CD-response averaged over 3608, is large compared to the total variation (30 on the scale in Fig. 12). This value represents the isotropic part of the response and implies that the sample is chiral. As a conclusion, it is clear that CD-effects in second-harmonic generation have to be handled with care. It is always important to determine the symmetry of the sample and then to interpret the results measured. In the case of a sample with in-plane isotropy, the CD-effects arise from the

120 90

60 30 0 -30 -60 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350

Azimuthal rotation angle

Fig. 12. Circular-difference response in SHG as a function of the azimuthal rotation angle (the 08 orientation is arbitrary). The average of the CD-response over 3608 is 30 represented by the line.


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Fig. 13. 2,20 -Dihydroxy-1,10 -binaphthyl.

chirality of the sample, as far as there is no misalignment of the polarizer. In the case of an anisotropic sample, CD-effects in the nonlinear response are no direct evidence of chirality of the sample: one should determine the tensor components or investigate the CD-response as a function of the azimuthal rotation angle f. 4.5. SHG-CD: a tool to probe surface chirality The first experimental evidence of SHG-CD came from Petralli-Mallow et al. They studied SHG from a chiral 2,20 -dihydroxy-1,10 -binaphthyl molecules (Fig. 13) adsorbed at an airwater interface [27]. The SHG signal from the surface was recorded versus wavelength in the reflection geometry, using a circularly-polarized fundamental beam. They noticed that the SH intensity was different for left- and right-circularly-polarized light. Furthermore, the observed CD-effects had the same magnitude but opposite sign for the enantiomers. The circular-difference effects DI/I reached values as high as 100% and the SHG-CD spectra also resembled the (linear optical) CD-spectra. However, at that time they were no explanation could be given for the and origin of the SHG-CDeffect. Possible explanations such as, different absorption of the two circularly-polarized beams due to linear circular-dichroism, aggregation of molecules which enhances SHG-CD, contributions of magnetic-dipole and quadrupole interactions originating from the bulk, were put forth, but it was only in later publications that SHG-CD was perceived as arising from the interference between chiral and achiral components within the electric-dipole approximation [45]. More recently, LangmuirBlodgett films of a chiral 1,10 -binaphthyl-based helical polymer were studied [46]. The polymers used in the study were prepared from chiral 1,10 -binaphthyl-based monomeric units and optimized for nonlinear optics by adding a p-conjugated bridge and electron donor and acceptor groups (Fig. 14). The monomer units can be considered as an ensemble of rigid

Fig. 14. Chiral 1,10 -binaphthyl-based helical polymer.

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Table 5 Absolute values of the second-harmonic susceptibility components of the binaphthyl-based helical polymer and classification of the components as chiral or achiral Second-order susceptibility component xyz xxz zxx zzz Absolute value (pm/V) 2 7 5 35 Chirality classification Chiral Achiral Achiral Achiral

electric-dipole units that form a propeller-like three-dimensional conformation due to the chirality of the binaphthyl units [47,48]. Using the procedure of continuous polarization measurements, we were able to characterize the complete susceptibility tensor. Furthermore, the absolute magnitude of each component was calibrated using a quartz wedge (Table 5). There was no evidence of magnetic contributions to the nonlinearity. The high values for the components zzz, zxx and xxz suggest favorable ordering of the chromophoric parts of the polymer in the LB film. The chirality of the LB film manifests itself in the observed SHG-CD-effects. Also the presence of a small (but nonnegligible) chiral component xyz reflects the chirality of the film. 4.6. Evidence of strong magnetic contributions in chiral polymers Significant magnetic contributions to the nonlinearity of thin films of some chiral polymers have been observed. The first observation of magnetic-dipole contributions were observed from the films of chiral polyisocyanide and polythiophene. Both materials form LangmuirBlodgett films with C1-symmetry. The polyisocyanides investigated are shown in Fig. 15 [49]. The samples were analyzed by a series of continuous polarization measurements in reflection and transmission geometry. Note the peculiar structure of the molecules: chirality and nonlinearity are present on different levels of the molecular structure. Chirality is localized in the helical backbone of the molecule, while the nonlinearity is localized in the pendant, achiral chromophores. Strong circulardifference effects and strong asymmetric polarization patterns are an indication of chirality of the sample. Moreover, the results could not be explained within the electric-dipole approximation and we had to include magnetic contributions. The largest nonlinear magnetic susceptibility was found to be of the order of 10% of the largest pure electric susceptibility. Chirality and nonlinearity are not present on the same level of the molecule although chirality effects are observed in the nonlinear optical response [50]. It is believed that there exists a strong coupling between the backbone and the

C n N H 3C CH CH2 O C R O




Fig. 15. Polyisocyanide described in [50].


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O C n N H3C CH CH2 O C R O NO2 R N N N CH2 CH2 O C O CH3 CH2 CH2 O C CH3

Fig. 16. Polyisocyanide described in [51].

chromophores. A simultaneous excitation of the NLO chromophores leads to a helical charge displacement along the backbone of the polymer. Films of a similar polyisocyanide mixed with poly(-S-1-acetoxymethylethyl isocyanide) (Fig. 16) were analyzed in detail [51]. Analysis of the polarization pattern allowed the determination of the relative amplitudes of all electric- and magnetic-dipole susceptibility components (Table 6). Important to note is that the largest magnetic component is 20% of the largest electric component and that the largest magnetic component is associated with chirality. The absolute value of the electricdipole component zzz of LangmuirBlodgett films of a similar polymer system was determined to be of the order of 9 pm/V [52]. Therefore, the largest magnetic-dipole component of this system would be approximately 2 pm/V. This indicates that magnetic contributions to the nonlinearity are not negligible and that optimization of the second-order nonlinear response can be made throughout the magnetic contributions. It is still unclear why the magnetic nonlinearities play such an important role in these specific molecules. The reason could be that in these films the chromophores that are responsible for the nonlinear response are randomly distributed which suppresses the electric-dipole nonlinearity. However, more research is needed to prove this hypothesis.
Table 6 Relative magnitudes of the components of weee, weem, and wmee for the poly(isocyanide) mixed with poly(S-1-acetoxymethylethyl isocyanide) Tensor w

Components zzz zxx zyy xxz xzx yyz yzy xyz xzy yxz yzx zzz zxx zyy xxz yyz xzx yzy xyz yxz zxy zyx xzy yzx zzz zxx zyy xxz xzx yyz yzy xyz xzy yxz yzx

Chirality Achiral Achiral Achiral Chiral Chiral Chiral Chiral Chiral Achiral Achiral Achiral Chiral Chiral Chiral Achiral

Relative amplitude 1.00 0.62 0.60 0.08 0.23 0.12 0.01 0.05 0.06 0.13 0.06 0.15 0.00 0.00 0.03



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Fig. 17. Chiral polythiophene.

Evidence of high magnetic-dipole contributions to the nonlinearity has also been found in LangmuirBlodgett films of a chiral poly(thiophene) (Fig. 17) [53]. The magnetic-dipole contributions observed in these LB films are of the same order of magnitude as the electric-dipole nonlinearities. The sample studied was a ten layer LangmuirBlodgett film of the regioregular chiral polythiophene poly[3-[2-((S)-2-methylbutoxy)-ethyl]thiophene] [54,55]. In good solvents, like CHCL3, the polymer is in a random coil conformation and does not exhibit optical activity in its pp transition of the polythiophene. However, in the solid state, in poor solvents, or in appropriate combinations of solvents, the polymer is associated in small domains and the chiral side groups induce an enormous optical activity in the pp transition of the polythiophene. This association with a chiral conformation is accompanied by a strong solvatochroism and the films have a purple/red color (lmax 512 nm), while the random coil conformation has an orange/yellow color (lmax 445 nm). To prepare the Langmuir Blodgett films, the polymer is dissolved in chloroform (in which the polymer is in a random coil) and spread on a water surface. Upon evaporation of the solvent, the polymer folds into the chiral conformation and changes color from yellow to purple. The SHG from the films was measured by continuously varying a quarter-wave plate in the path of the fundamental beam (1064 nm). An analysis of the s-polarized second-harmonic signal provided clear proof of the presence of the strong magnetic-dipole contributions (same order of magnitude as the electric contributions) in the nonlinearity of the films. Unfortunately, due to the instability of the sample, the authors were not able to determine absolute magnitudes of the components of weee, weem, and wmee. Schanne-Klein et al. [56] studied spincoated films of the chiral dye shown in Fig. 18 and separated the electric- and the magnetic-dipole contributions to the nonlinearity. They performed continuous polarization measurements and determined the SHG-CD and SHG-LD values. They also measured SHG-ORD. From these data they extracted the relative values of the tensor components. The results are shown in Table 7. The chiral magnetic-dipole contributions were of the same order of

* Et2N

N * OH


Fig. 18. Chemical structure of chiral penthamethinium salt. The stars indicate the asymmetric carbons.


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Table 7 Relative magnitude of the components (or combination of components) of weee, weem, and wmee for the chiral compound in Fig. 18 Tensor component weee zzz weee zxx weee xxz weee xyz 2weem xxz Chirality Achiral Achiral Achiral Chiral Chiral Relative magnitude 1.00 0.080 0.310 0.0120.018 0.03

wmee zxx

magnitude as the chiral electric-dipole contributions: weem % wmee , these components have typically xxz zxx the same order of magnitude as weee . The dipolar electric contributions arise from the p-electrons on xyz the carbonyl chain but they are not strongly delocalized between the two nitrogen atoms, and therefore the dipolar electric nonlinearities are not expected to be strong. That is probably the reason why magnetic effects are as strong as dipolar electric ones concerning the chiral components. These experiments provided evidence that the magnetic-dipole contributions can be important even in nonresonant conditions (the dye does not absorb at the second-harmonic wavelength). The previous experiment illustrates the relative strength of electric- and magnetic-dipole transitions in second-order optical activity. We can conclude that optical activity can occur in surface second-harmonic generation from the electric-only response, but we find that the magnetic response can make a similar contribution and thus should not be ignored. These conclusions were also drawn from the theoretical approach of the nonlinear optical activity. Maki and Persoons calculated the one-electron second-order optical activity of a helix [26]. The optical response is classically modeled by using a single electron bound to a helical path (Fig. 19). The helical motion of the electron causes optical activity in the second-order response. The microscopic second-order response is (characterized by the hyperpolarizability b) calculated for a chiral molecule, but also the macroscopic second-order response (characterized by the nonlinear susceptibility w) of both surfaces and solutions of chiral molecules. From the equations for b and w one can see that the magnetic contributions are enhanced in a helical molecule. beee, beem and bmee can be written as a function of the pitch (z) and the radius (r) of the helix: beee / e3 ra zb m2 with a b 3; beem ; bmee /

io e3 ra zb c m2

with a b 4


e x'


Fig. 19. Electron bound to a helical path of radius r and pitch z.

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Fig. 20. Chemical formula of (t-butyloxycarbonyl)-tryptophan-tryptophan.

where beee, beem and bmee are the molecular analogues of weee, weem and wmee, m and e are the mass and the electric charge of the electron. o is the frequency of the applied fundamental field. The macroscopic response (w) can be found by averaging the microscopic response for the various orientations of the helix in space. beem and bmee depend on r and z with an overall order of 4. beee, on the other hand, depends on r and z with an overall order of 3. As a consequence, the magnetic contributions increase more rapidly than the electric when the molecule has more helical character. 4.7. Biological systems studied with SHG-CD SHG-CD is a surface sensitive technique and can be used to study interfaces and surfaces. Crawford et al. [57] explored the possibilities of this technique to study biological systems. The airwater interface of aqueous (t-butyloxycarbonyl)-tryptophan-tryptophan (Boc-Trp-Trp) has been studied by surface SHG-CD (Fig. 20). SHG has already been observed for some amino acids (tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine) using 532 nm fundamental radiation, from the surface of aqueous solutions [58], and over the 270300 nm region for tryptophan and tyrosine. Tryptophan gives the strongest SHG signal. However, being chiral, tryptophan did not show any secondharmonic optical activity. The molecular hyperpolarizability bxyz is expected to be zero since tryptophan chromophore is planar. In contrast, the dipeptide Boc-Trp-Trp, shows significant SHG-CD and SHG-ORD. In these experiments, a Nd:YAG pumped dye laser (5 ns, 10 Hz, $20 mJ) operating at wavelengths between 550 and 580 nm was used to record the SHG-CD-response. The beam was incident at the liquid surface at 608 to the surface normal. There is a significant difference in the SHG signals observed for left- and right-circularly-polarized fundamental incident radiation and p-polarized SHG radiation. The SHG-CD-response reached values near 150% at 276 nm. The DD form of the Boc-Trp-Trp gives a SHG-CD-response of equal magnitude but opposite sign compared with the response of the LL form of the same molecule. The 50/50 racemic mixture gave no SHG-CD-response. Achiral molecules adsorbed at the airwater liquid interface give rise to no SHG signals from the polarization combination ps (p-polarized fundamental, s-polarized second harmonic). However, for chiral molecules, a nonzero ps signal can be observed. SHG-ORD spectra were measured between 276 and 286 nm. The sign of the ORD of the LL form was opposite to that of the DD form. Experiments were also performed on the diastereoisomer Boc-L-Trp-D-Trp. The SHG-CD-effect increases towards longer wavelengths (for p-detection). The SHG-ORD wavelength dependence of the Boc-L-Trp-D-Trp is similar to the LL and DD forms but the magnitude of the rotation angle is approximately twice that observed for the LL and DD isomers. The SHG-CD signal can be explained by the presence of the tensor component wxyz, which can only be nonzero for chiral surfaces. In the Boc-Trp-Trp molecule, the rings are tilted with respect to each other (like the two rings in binaphthol), which explains a significant molecular hyperpolarizability bxyz of the dipeptide. This will in turn lead to a nonzero wxyz term.


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+ N H


Fig. 21. Chemical formula of the optically active part in bacteriorhodopsin.

Another biological molecule probed with SHG-CD is bacteriorhodopsin [59] (Fig. 21). Bacteriorhodopsin is a light-energy-transducing protein that is present in the purple membrane of halophilic bacteria. In the purple membrane, the protein is arranged into clusters of three that show stronger optical activity than individual molecules. Linear circular-dichroism spectra of suspensions of purple membrane in water typically show a relative circular-difference effect of De=e 0:1%. Bacteriorhodopsin also exhibits strong nonlinear optical activity. The bacteriorhodopsin sample was analyzed using continuous polarization measurements. First, the bacteriorhodopsin molecules were embedded in a LangmuirBlodgett film. In the films, the bacteriorhodpsin molecules were in a soya phosphatidylcholine matrix in a molar ratio of 1:28. In such a film, the bacteriorhodopsin molecules can exhibit local ordering in a lattice similar to the one that occurs in the purple membrane. In spite of this local ordering, the molecules are randomly distributed on a scale much smaller than the optical wavelength. Hence, the film constitutes an isotropic surface with full rotational symmetry about the surface normal. The second-harmonic generation of the p-polarized transmitted component was dependent on the helicity of the fundamental beam. The circular-difference effect was about 25%. For the s-polarized component, the circular-difference effect was about 13%. To assess the usefulness of the effect for other, more practical, types of samples, a drop of purple membrane suspension in water was placed between two glass slides. This technique results in samples for which the overall efficiency of second-harmonic generation depends on the spot on the sample that is illuminated by the laser. This inhomogeneity is most likely an indication of aggregation of the purple-membrane fragments. These samples also exhibit a strong circulardifference response, which for the s-polarized signal is $100%. The very strong circular-difference response is due to supramolecular chirality of bacteriorhodopsin trimers. SHG-CD has also been used to follow the adsorption and redox properties of a peripheral membrane protein, horse heart cytochrome c, adsorbed at several model membrane surfaces [60]. The SHG-CD-response is shown to be affected by the oxidation state of the heme within the surfaceadsorbed cytochrome c, as is consistent with the sensitivity of SHG to the chirality of the heme. Cytochrome c is an interesting redox species due to its membrane-associated activity and its biological role in electron transport. At carboxylic acid-terminated self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), cytochrome c forms a stable and electroactive layer that is reducible by applying an electrode potential or by the addition of a reducing agent to the solution. Hybrid bilayer membranes (HBMs) have been shown to have many properties of cell and model membranes. HBMs are electrically addressable using a underlying gold film as working electrode. The laser system used for the SHG-CD studies consisted of a mode-locked titanium-sapphire (Ti-S) laser (150 fs, $5 nJ/pulse) pumped by a beam-locked argon ion laser. The incidence angle used was in the range of 45518 from the surface normal. The SHG-CD-response for s-polarized detection at 798 nm was studied for cytochrome c adsorbed at three surfaces: HBM, on hydrophylic SAM and on hydrophobic SAM. In the oxidized state, the SHG-CD-response DI/I of cytochrome c is negative. When cytochrome c adsorbed on the SAMs it was reduced by adding an excess ascorbate, the s-polarized SHG-CD became more positive. In contrast, the introduction of ascorbate to cytochrome c adsorbed at the HBM surface, resulted in a

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negative SHG-CD-effect. The result suggests that HBM-associated cytochrome c is not reduced by ascorbic acid. This work demonstrates for the first time that SHG-CD can be used to probe the oxidation state of a redox protein, cytochrome c, adsorbed at surfaces. The SHG-CD is consistent with results reported in literature that indicate that cytochrome c is reducible by ascorbic acid when associated with hydrophobic or negatively charged monolayers, but not when they are bound to mixed lipid layers containing zwitterionic and negatively charged phospholipids. This work demonstrates the potential for SHG-CD studies of native biological surfaces. 4.8. Chirality as a tool for nonlinear optical applications The requirement of noncentrosymmetry in nonlinear optics can be achieved in several ways. One of the most widely used methods to induce macroscopic noncentrosymmetry is electric-field poling of nonlinear optical polymers. The polymer containing a nonlinear optical chromophore is spincoated on a substrate. Subsequently, the polymer film is heated to its glass transition temperature and a strong static electric field is applied to orient the chromophores in the polymer matrix. Then, the polymer film is cooled below Tg in the presence of the field, to freeze in the orientation. The symmetry of such films is C1 and C1v for chiral and achiral samples, respectively (Fig. 22a). Unfortunately, poled films are thermodynamically unstable, and eventually return to their original isotropic centrosymmetric state [19]. Furthermore, poling can be quite complex and time consuming. One of the obstacles of efficient poling is the aggregation of chromophores. Chromophores with high dipole moments embedded in a polymer matrix, will easily aggregate due to dipoledipole interactions. This aggregation will reduce the efficiency of the poling process [6164]. Therefore, it would be beneficial to relax the requirement of polar ordering along the film normal. For example, one can then rely on y-type deposition of LangmuirBlodgett films, where transfer occurs both at up and down strokes. Removal of polar ordering results in a sample with two-fold rotation axis in the plane of the film. Such films have axial ordering along the surface normal. The symmetry groups of chiral and achiral samples are D1 and D1h, respectively (Fig. 22b). The nonvanishing tensor components for these groups are listed in Table 8, and they depend on all three spatial coordinates. Consequently, the electric-dipole tensor vanishes unless the sample is chiral. However, chirality allows electric-dipole nonlinearities without polar order. The D1- and D1h-symmetry can also be found in other systems: liquid crystals, spincoated films, etc.


Film normal


Film normal

Two-fold rotation axis

Fig. 22. (a) A thin film with C1-symmetry. The sample has polar order along the film normal but the orientational distribution of the molecules is isotropic in the plane of the film. Any rotation about the film normal is a symmetry operation. When the molecules are achiral, reflection in the plane containing the normal is also a symmetry operation. (b) A thin film with D1-symmetry. The sample has only axial, but no polar order. Any rotation about the film normal is a symmetry operation. In addition, 1808 rotation about any axis in the plane of the film is a symmetry operation. When the molecules are achiral, reflections in a plane containing the normal and in the plane of the film are also symmetry operations.


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Table 8 Nonvanishing components ijk of tensors weee, weem, and wmee for achiral and chiral thin films with in-plane isotropy and only axial ordering along the film normal (D1h and D1 groups) Susceptibility tensor w

Achiral D1h

Chiral D1 xyz yxz xzy yzx zxy zyx xyz yxz xzy yzx zxy zyx

weem and wmee

xyz yxz xzy yzx zxy zyx

Films with D1-symmetry can in principle be made by the LangmuirBlodgett technique. In a recent study, Verbiest et al. prepared LB films of a chiral helicene. Although, the symmetry of the film was not a perfect D1-symmetry, the experiment definitely proved that polar order is not a necessary requirement for second-order nonlinear optics. In fact, the symmetry of the film was very close to D2, a symmetry that also lacks polar order. The molecules studied were those of the tetrasubstituted helicenebisquinone, shown in Fig. 23 [65]. In bulk samples the enantiomerically pure form of the material spontaneously organizes into long fibers clearly visible under an optical microscope, while the racemic form does not aggregate. These fibers comprise columnar stacks of helicene molecules. Similar columnar stacks form in appropriate solvents when the concentrations are greater than $1 mM. This formation of aggregates is associated with an increase in the circular-dichroism of the solution [66]. LangmuirBlodgett films were made of the helicene by spreading a dilute chloroform solution (2 104 M) onto the pure water subphase of an LB trough. Subsequently, the layer was compressed to a surface pressure of 20 mN/m and transferred to a hydrophobic glass substrate by horizontal dipping. UV-Vis absorption spectra, CD spectra and atomic force microscopy (AFM) clearly showed that the helicene bisquinone was present in its aggregated form in both racemic and nonracemic films [65,67]. The samples were analyzed by a series of continuous polarization measurements. Good optical and structural quality of the films was confirmed through the quadratical growth of the SHG signal with the thickness of the sample. A clear difference between the nonracemic and racemic films was observed in their SHG properties: the strongest SHG signal from a one-layer nonracemic film was approximately 1000 times as intense as that from a similar racemic film, corresponding to a $30-fold enhancement in the value of the susceptibility. The strongest signal for the nonracemic film was ps (p-polarized fundamental and s-polarized SHG), whereas, for the racemic film the pp signal was the strongest. When examining Eq. (48), it is clear that the ps signal is due to the





Fig. 23. Tetrasubstituted helicenebisquinone.

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Table 9 Absolute values of chiral and achiral rotational invariants of the susceptibility of the nonracemic LB films of the helicene bisquinone Rotational invariant zzz xxz yyz zxx zyy xyz yxz Absolute value 6 2 4 50 Chirality Achiral Achiral Achiral Chiral

components of the second-order susceptibility tensor that are nonvanishing only in the presence of chirality. The pp signal is allowed for all isotropic surfaces and thus is due to the achiral tensor components. This result implies that for the nonracemic sample, the dominant part of the susceptibility can be associated with chirality. In the racemic samples, this part must cancel. An explanation for the different behavior of the two types of samples is that the helicene packs differently in the racemic and nonracemic films. To investigate these possibilities the authors first had to analyze the susceptibility components of the two films. The analysis was not straightforward because the film exhibited two-fold symmetry. They had to examine combinations of susceptibility components, which are invariant under rotation operations around the surface normal and are given in Table 9. The reason for this is that for a surface with a two-fold symmetry the x- and y-directions are arbitrary. All the rotational invariants were determined by analyzing SHG polarization patterns. No evidence was found of the presence of magnetic-dipole contributions. The nonlinear optical response of the nonracemic films was dominated by the combination: xyzyxz. This combination is associated with chirality. Note that the NLO response of LB films is usually dominated by the zzz component. The magnitude of the chiral combination xyzyxz is within one order of magnitude of the highest values ever observed in LB films. The high magnitude of the chiral susceptibility, combined with the good thermal stability (stable up to 2008), makes this is a promising material for device applications. The reason for the high nonlinearity of the supramolecular structure was attributed to the formation of supramolecular aggregates with high nonlinearity. In films made of the pure enantiomerically material, these nonlinearities add up, while in racemic films they cancel. In another experiment, films of a similar helicene derivative were spincoated onto glass substrates, yielding films of 0.10.6 mm. From UV-Vis absorption spectra it was seen that the molecules self-assembled in corkscrew-shaped structures [67]. Continuous polarization measurements were carried out on the samples. As the nonracemic films showed SHG response, the symmetry of the films had to be at least D1. The exact symmetry was determined by detecting the SHG signal while rotating the sample about its surface normal. The films were isotropic in the plane which corresponds to a C1- or D1-symmetry. To discriminate between those two, polarization combinations of the fundamental and second-harmonic were analyzed. For an s-polarized fundamental beam no second-harmonic signal was detected. For the p-polarized fundamental, only the s-polarized second-harmonic was nonvanishing. This implies a D1-symmetry with only one nonvanishing tensor component wxyz. The magnitude of the component was determined to be 2 pm/V. This experiment again illustrates the potential of chiral materials in NLO. The advantages of such films are clear. Because no polar order had to be introduced by an external force, relaxation cannot occur. Moreover the films showed good thermal stability over a wide range of temperatures. Heating the films up to 200 8C did not affect the SHG efficiency. Above the melting point, the material becomes an isotropic liquid and the SHG signal drops to zero.


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OR' OR + R'O O



R= O

R' = C12 H25

Fig. 24. Chemical structure of chiral liquid crystal.

Nevertheless, cooling the liquid restores the initial symmetry and the original SHG values are detected. These were remarkable results because spincoating results used in isotropic films. The D1-symmetry can be explained by the organization of the molecules in liquid crystalline-like layers that stack together. Another illustration of the potential of chiral molecules in NLO is given by the following experiment. Binary mixtures of isomeric nonracemic (M)-()-helicenes shown in Fig. 24 and dodecane tend to form liquid crystals. A head-to-tail aggregation of the molecules is favored by the steric hindrance of the bulkier ends that keeps the molecules apart. As a result the mixtures exhibit a chiral discotic nematic phase [68]. The solution (1, 20 wt.% dissolved in dodecane) was placed between a rubbed 4 mm LC cell at room temperature. The samples were probed by continuous polarization measurements. The only second-harmonic signal detected was the ps signal (p-polarized fundamental, s-polarized second-harmonic). Rotating the sample about its surface normal did not change the magnitude of the second-harmonic signal. For the same reasons mentioned above, the symmetry should be D1. The only nonvanishing component for this system is the chiral wxyz component: this is an apolar component, it is nonvanishing in samples without polar order. The magnitude of the component was measured and compared to a quartz reference (d11 0:3 pm/V) and was 0.13 pm/V. When an electric field was applied to the cell, the symmetry of the sample changed from a nonpolar D1 to a polar C1. The result is that additional polar tensor components appear: wxxz, wzxx and wzzz. The values of all tensor components were measured and calibrated against a quartz reference: wxyz 0:68 i0:16 pm/V, wxxz 0:51 pm/V, wzxx 0:59 i0:03 pm/V, and wzzz 1:22 i0:1 pm/V. The applied electric field was 10 V/mm. In Fig. 25, one can see that the total signal increases by a factor 3.5 when applying the electric field. When switched off, the signal decreases again to the original value. It is also notable that when the polarity of the field is reversed, the values of the polar tensor components change sign while the sign of the apolar tensor component remains unchanged. The magnitudes are unaffected within the experimental errors. wxyz 0:64 i0:15 pm/V, wxxz 0:47 pm/V, wzxx 0:58 i0:002 pm/V, and wzzz 0:78 i0:015 pm/V. The ability to reverse the sign of the tensor components can be used in quasi-phase-matching to prepare efficient frequency-conversion devices. The SHG-CD-response which is depended on chiral and achiral components, will change sign when the polarity of the applied field is reversed. This is explained by the fact that only the achiral components change sign under reversion of the polarity of the electric field. For the s-polarized component of the second-harmonic field, the CD-response changes from 43 to 45%. Note that this effect cannot be observed in linear optics since the refractive index cannot change sign.

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Second-harmonic intensity (a.u.)

2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 t1 t2









Time (sec)
Fig. 25. Plot of the second-harmonic signal intensity (I(2o), in arbitrary units) vs. time t. At time t2 the field was switched off.

To conclude, all experiments above are proof that chiral samples without polar order can exhibit nonlinear optical activity. Because no external force is needed to introduce a Dn-symmetry, these films are thermodynamically stable which is a great advantage over poled polymer films which tend to relax in time. In addition, for the chiral liquid crystal, an external electric field can increase the existing signal by introducing a polar order. Because the reversibility of the effect and the ability to change the sign of the polar tensor components by reversing the polarity of the external field, optical switches, phase-shifters and quasi-phase-matching are possible applications for this system. 4.9. Quasi-phase-matching in chiral materials In order to detect a second-order nonlinear response from a material, the material has to be noncentrosymmetric and the nonlinear source polarization and the generated field must propagate through it in phase. The interaction must be phase-matched. Phase-matching is hard to realize, because refractive indices of materials change with the wavelength. In second-harmonic generation, for example, the wave vectors of the fundamental and second-harmonic beams ko and k2o are proportional to the indices no and n2o at the two frequencies. The phase (or wave vector) mismatch for copropagating fundamental and second-harmonic beams is thus Dk 2ko k2o 4pno n2o lo (69)

where lo is the fundamental wavelength. Consequently, after a distance Lc p/jDk j, known as the coherence length, the source polarization and generated field are out-of-phase. Phase-matching can be achieved in birefringent materials, because their refractive indices depend on the polarizations of the interacting fields. Because of some limitations, an alternative to perfect phase-matching, known as quasi-phase-matching, is frequently used. In this procedure, the signs of the nonlinear optical coefficients are reversed after every coherence length, or after any odd multiple of it. This restores the phase relation between the source polarization and the generated field, allowing the nonlinear signal to grow quasi-continuously. Because for enantiomers the nonlinear coefficients associated


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with chirality are opposite in sign, quasi-phase-matched frequency conversion should be possible in periodically alternating stacks of enantiomers [69]. Busson et al. prepared such alternating stacks of enantiomers and demonstrated that they can be used for quasi-phase-matched second-harmonic generation. A series of samples was investigated in which equally thick stacks of the two enantiomers alternated. Quasi-phase-matching is verified by measuring the intensity of the second-harmonic signal associated with chirality as a function of the thickness of the stacks. The experiments were analyzed by considering a model for the structure that consists of p stacks, each of thickness L, in which the sign of the second-order nonlinearity alternates. The second-harmonic amplitude E2 along the z-direction is given by the following equation: E2 pL / G 1 eai DkL eapL 1p ei DkpL a i Dk 1 eai DkL (70)

where G is a constant numerical factor proportional to the squared amplitude of the fundamental beam, a is the linear absorption coefficient at the second-harmonic wavelength, and Dk is the wave vector mismatch. According to the above equation, the output intensities from a series of films with a fixed number of stacks p, but with increasing thickness L, are expected to grow until L Lc and then to decrease. When the thickness of each stack equals the coherence length, the intensity is expected to grow with the number of stacks p. The growth should be quadratic when the material does not absorb the second-harmonic light (a ! 0). Films were prepared by spreading 2 104 M chloroform solutions of the enantiomers of the helicenebisquinone onto Milli-Q water in a LangmuirBlodgett trough. Multilayers were prepared by depositing a stack with a given number of molecular layers of the (P)-()-enantiomer, following it by a stack with the same number of layers of the (M)-()-enantiomer, and repeating the sequence if necessary. The advantage of the LangmuirBlodgett technique is that the thickness of the stacks can be controlled to a precision of one molecular layer. A drawback is that a very large number of layers is needed to attain the thickness of even one coherence length. However, the coherence length is must shorter if the second-harmonic light is detected in the reflected instead of the more common transmitted direction. First, a series of films were prepared with two stacks, p 2 (P/M) and a series of films with p 4 (P/M/P/M). The total number of molecular layers within the stacks was varied. One could see that the second-harmonic intensities grow with increasing thickness of the stacks, until L Lc , and than decreased. Than, a new series of samples was prepared with 14, and 6 stacks, where L reached the coherence length. The second-harmonic intensity was somewhat less than quadratic only because the samples absorb light at the second-harmonic wavelength. It is clear that quasi-phase-matching can be achieved by making structures consisting of stacks of chiral molecules where the two enantiomers alternate. Here the quasi-phase-matching is a consequence of the chirality of the material and it was established in reflection symmetry. However, quasi-phase-matching should be limited neither to this process nor to this geometry. Nevertheless, this work is an example of the possibility to create completely new frequency converters. 4.10. Magnetic-dipole nonlinearity from chiral materials in solution Strong evidence of magnetic-dipole contributions have been observed from chiral films and it is clear that the nonlinear optical response can be enhanced through the magnetic-dipole transitions. The problem is that there is no well-established theory of the relationship of molecular structure and magnetic-dipole susceptibilities. There has been theoretical evidence that chirality favors magnetic

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transitions [26], but no experiment technique has been able to link molecular structure to the presence of strong magnetic-dipole contributions. Hence, there is need for experimental methods to solve this fundamental question. We recently proposed a new technique, based on EFISHG, to analyze these molecular properties [70]. Electric-field-induced second-harmonic generation (EFISHG) is a technique that measures the molecular hyperpolarizabilities in solution [7174]. The noncentrosymmetry conditions, needed to detect SHG are introduced by applying an external electric field. The resulting solution has a polar order and SHG can be detected. We modified the classical EFISHG setup to investigate the magnetic contributions to the hyperpolarizability tensor. In the presence of magnetic-dipole nonlinearities, we can define an effective polarization Peff(2o) [28,75] Peff 2o P2o c r M2o i2o (71)

where the nonlinear polarization P(2o) and the nonlinear magnetization M(2o) can be written as X Pi 2o weee Ej oEk o weem Ej oBk o (72) ijk ijk

X Mi 2o wmee Ej oEk o ijk



The subscripts refer to Cartesian coordinates in the macroscopic (laboratory) frame. We will now apply these equations to a particular experimental setup. We take a chiral solution with a net orientation along the z-direction and the propagating laser beam along the x-direction and polarized in the z-direction. The symmetry of the solution is C1. The nonvanishing susceptibility components are listed in Table 2. There are four independent components for the weee and wmee tensors and seven independent components for the weem tensor. The components of the electric and magnetic fields are Eo E0; 0; Ez and Bo B0; By ; 0. For this particular situation, the nonlinear polarization and magnetization that are able to radiate are Pz 2o weee Ez oEz o; zzz Py 2o weem Ez oBy o; yzy Mz 2o wmee Ez oEz o zzz (74) Hence, the effective polarization becomes Peff o weee Ez oEz oz weem wmee Ez oEz oy zzz yzy zzz (75)

Since, the effective polarization is the source for the second-harmonic signal, it is clear that the second-harmonic will consist of a component polarized along the z-direction and one component polarized along the y-direction. The z-polarized component originates from a pure electric-dipole transition while the y-polarized component originates from a pure magnetic-dipole transition. The result is an SH signal rotated about a certain angle in comparison to the polarization direction of the incoming beam (z-polarized). This would be the case if the electric and magnetic susceptibilities would have the same phase. However, in resonance conditions, the electric susceptibilities weee are imaginary values quantities and the magnetic susceptibilities weem and wmee are essentially real [23,24]. Out of resonance the opposite is true. In general, the electric susceptibility components will differ in phase from the magnetic susceptibility components. This difference in phase between the z- and y-component of the SH signal will result in elliptically polarized light. The presence of


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ellipticity in the SH light is thus and evidence of magnetic-dipole contributions to the nonlinearity. Moreover, the combination weem wmee is only nonvanishing in chiral materials and the detection yzy zzz of elliptically-polarized light is therefore also an indication of the chirality of the material. The susceptibilities measured, can be related to their molecular hyperpolarizabilities weee Nf hbeee i; weem Nf hbeem i; wmee Nf hbmee i (76)

where N is the number density of the molecules in solution and f the local field factor. A detection scheme has to be setup in order to detect elliptically-polarized light. A modified EFISHG setup can be used. A Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm) is incident on the EFISHG cell. The beam is vertically polarized. When the EFISHG cell is filled with a solution of chiral molecules with magnetic contributions, the SH will be elliptically polarized. The horizontally- and verticallypolarized components of this elliptically-polarized light can be written as Ez 2o E1 eiot ; Ey 2o E2 eiotf (77)

2 2


I 0 60 120 180 240 300 Rotation angle of the quarter-wave plate 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 -0.5 360

-1 0.5 -2 0 0 60 120 180 240 300 Rotation angle of the quarter-wave plate 360




60 120 180 240 300 Rotation angle of the quarter-wave plate


Fig. 26. The difference DI as a function of the angle of the quarter-wave plate y. In the first case (a) there is no magnetic contribution (E2 0). In the second case (b) the ratio E2/E1 0:3 and the phase difference f is taken to be p/4. The last curve (c) shows the situation where E2/E1 0:05 and f p/4.

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with f the phase difference and E1 and E2 are directly proportional to the electric- and magneticdipole contributions, respectively. The elliptically-polarized light is then directed through a quarterwave plate which is varied continuously. The vertically- and horizontally-polarized light is resolved and detected by two-photo multipliers. The difference DI is measured as a function of the angle of the quarter-wave plate and can be fitted to the following equation: DI E1 sin2ysinfE2 2 cos2yE1 sin2ycosfE2 2
2 cosf cos2ysinf2 E2 sin2yE1 E2 sinf cos2ycosf2

(78) where y is the angle of the quarter-wave plate. To test this formalism, we made some simulations. Fig. 26 shows three curves. In the first case (Fig. 26a) there are no magnetic contributions to the SHG signal or E2 0. The resulting curve is symmetric about the 1808 rotation axis of the quarterwave plate. In the second case (Fig. 26b) the ratio of E2/E1 0:3 and the phase difference is taken to be f p/4. It can be clearly seen that the curve is highly asymmetric about the 1808 rotation axis. The last curve (Fig. 26c) depicts the situation where E2/E1 0:05 and f p/4. Even if the magnetic contributions are 5% of the electric contributions, the curve is asymmetric. A chiral medium with magnetic nonlinearities to the SHG gives a rotation pattern that is asymmetric with respect to the 1808 rotation angle of the quarter-wave plate even for weak magnetic contributions. To conclude, this modified EFISHG technique shows promise to evolve into a sensitive probe of magnetic-dipole contributions, and can therefore be extremely useful in establishing clear structure property relationships in chiral materials.

5. Conclusion Second-harmonic generation from surfaces and thin films provides a new tool to study surface chirality. We gave an overview of the theoretical formalism to describe the nonlinear optical response of chiral surfaces and thin films and experimental procedures to study polarization rotation and intensity-difference effects in SHG from chiral surfaces. In addition, we gave a series of experimental results. From the examples discussed in this review, it is clear that nonlinear optical activity is an extremely useful method to study surface chirality, since the linear analogues such as CD and ORD are not surface sensitive. Moreover, the study of chiral nonlinear optical materials might lead to insights to design completely new materials for applications in the field of nonlinear optics and photonics. However, the technique still has to mature, from an experimental and theoretical point of view, before it can be routinely used as a measurement technique. Issues that have to be resolved: (i) what is the relationship between the magnetic susceptibilities and molecular structure; (ii) is there a relation between the magnitude of the chiral susceptibility components and the magnitude of the traditional CD or ORD effects. SHG-CD could also be used in a new sort of imaging technique: SHG-CD microscopy. From an experimental point of view, the usefulness of the technique could be demonstrated in research fields such as biochemistry, catalysis or pharmacology. For example, the study of configurational changes in proteins adsorbed at surfaces, adsorption of racemic mixtures of molecules on chiral surfaces, the study of enantiomeric excess obtained in asymmetric surface reactions and the determination of the enantiomeric excess in pharmaceutical products should help in establishing nonlinear optical activity as a powerful tool of research.


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Acknowledgements This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (CHE-0094723), the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (G.0338.98 and 9.0407.98), the Belgian government (IUAP P4/11), and from the University of Leuven (GOA/2000/03). S.S. is research assistant of the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders and T.V. is a postdoctoral fellow of the Fund for scientific Research-Flanders. We gratefully acknowledge J.M. Nolte, T.J. Katz, L. Pu and E.W. Meijer for providing us with products and for their valuable discussions.

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