Published on Thursday April 18, 2013
Professor Rondinelli and colleagues at Northwestern University and Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics & Chemistry report a structure-based design strategy for second harmonic generating crystals with large responses in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The article, titled "Designing a Deep Ultraviolet Nonlinear Optical Material with Large SHG Response," describes a new atomic structure acentricity descriptor and links the macroscopic electro-optical response to the "amount" of polar displacements at the unit cell level in the crystal. The new structure-based approach to tailoring the optical properties of materials provides a novel platform to design materials at the atomic scale with targeted macroscopic responses. The generation of intense coherent deep-UV light from nonlinear optical materials is crucial to applications ranging from semiconductor photolithography and laser micromachining to photochemical synthesis.