Engineering hydrogen bonding to align molecular dipoles in organic solids for efficient second harmonic generation

Ruyan Zhao, Tong Zhu, Sasa Wang, Charlie Jarrett-Wilkins, Amin Morteza Najjarian, Alan J. Lough, Sjoerd Hoogland, Edward H. Sargent*, Dwight S. Seferos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Considering nearly infinite design possibilities, organic second harmonic generation (SHG) molecules are believed to have long-term promise. However, because of the tendency to form dipole-antiparallel crystals that lead to zero macroscopic polarization, it is difficult to design a nonlinear optical (NLO) material based on organic molecules. In this manuscript, we report a new molecule motif that can form asymmetric organic solids by controlling the degree of hydrogen bonding through protonation. A conjugated polar organic molecule was prepared with a triple bond connecting an electron-withdrawing pyridine ring and an electron-donating thiophene ring. By controlling the degree of hydrogen bonding through protonation, two different crystal packing motifs are achieved. One crystallizes into the common dipole-antiparallel nonpolar P1̄ space group. The second crystallizes into the uncommon dipole-parallel polar P1 space group, in which the molecular dipoles are aligned along a single axis and thus exhibit a high macroscopic polarization in its solid-state form. Due to the P1 polar packing, the sample can generate second harmonic light efficiently, about three times the intensity of the benchmark potassium dihydrogen phosphate. Our findings show that crystal engineering by hydrogen bonding in a single molecular backbone can be used for controlling the macroscopic NLO properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12144-12148
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Science
Volume13
Issue number41
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 11 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry

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