In situ second harmonic generation measurements of the formation of ionically self-assembled monolayers

C. Brandas, P. J. Neyman, M. T. Guzy, S. M. Shah, R. M. Davis, K. E. Van Cott, H. Wang, H. W. Gibson, J. R. Heflin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Recently, ionically self-assembled monolayers (ISAMs) of polymers with nonlinear optical chromophores have been shown to spontaneously exhibit a preferential ordering during the deposition process. This gives rise to a substantial second order nonlinear optical (NLO) response. Here, we use this second harmonic generation (SHG) to our advantage in the in situ study of the deposition of ISAMs. Upon immersion in the NLO-active polyelectrolyte solution, the SHG rises sharply over the first minute, demonstrating a rapid adsorption process. Immersion in the NLO-inactive partner polyelectrolyte leads to an instantaneous reduction in the SHG signal. We also show that the adsorption and ordering of a noncentrosymmetric nonlinear optical polymer increases with increasing PCBS concentration. These studies provide deeper understanding of the processes by which noncentrosymmetric order is formed in ISAM films and allows design of improved self-assembled nonlinear optical materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001


  • In situ
  • Polymer
  • Second harmonic generation
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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