Phase-referenced nonlinear spectroscopy of the α-quartz/water interface

Paul E. Ohno, Sarah A. Saslow, Hong Fei Wang, Franz M. Geiger*, Kenneth B. Eisenthal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Probing the polarization of water molecules at charged interfaces by second harmonic generation spectroscopy has been heretofore limited to isotropic materials. Here we report non-resonant nonlinear optical measurements at the interface of anisotropic z-cut α-quartz and water under conditions of dynamically changing ionic strength and bulk solution pH. We find that the product of the third-order susceptibility and the interfacial potential, χ(3) × Φ(0), is given by (χ1(3) -iχ2(3)) × Φ(0), and that the interference between this product and the second-order susceptibility of bulk quartz depends on the rotation angle of α-quartz around the z axis. Our experiments show that this newly identified term, iχ(3) × Φ(0), which is out of phase from the surface terms, is of bulk origin. The possibility of internally phase referencing the interfacial response for the interfacial orientation analysis of species or materials in contact with α-quartz is discussed along with the implications for conditions of resonance enhancement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13587
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Dec 13 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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