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X-ray Birefringence: A New Strategy for Determining Molecular Orientation in Materials

DOI: 10.1021/jz3013547 DOI Help
PMID: 26296032 PMID Help

Authors: Benjamin Palmer (Cardiff University) , Gregory Edwards-gau (Cardiff University) , Anabel Morte-rodenas (Cardiff University) , Benson M. Kariuki (Cardiff University) , Gin Keat Lim (Cardiff University) , K. D. M. Harris (Cardiff University) , Igor Dolbnya (Diamond Light Source) , Steve Collins (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: The Journal Of Physical Chemistry Letters , VOL 3 (21) , PAGES 3216 - 3222

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2012

Abstract: While the phenomenon of birefringence is well-established in the case of visible radiation and is exploited in many fields (e.g., through the use of the polarizing optical microscope), the analogous phenomenon for X-rays has been a virtually neglected topic. Here, we demonstrate the scope and potential for exploiting X-ray birefringence to determine the orientational properties of specific types of bonds in solids. Specifically, orientational characteristics of C–Br bonds in the bromocyclohexane/thiourea inclusion compound are elucidated from X-ray birefringence measurements at energies close to the bromine K-edge, revealing inter alia the changes in the orientational distribution of the C–Br bonds associated with a low-temperature order–disorder phase transition. From fitting a theoretical model to the experimental data, reliable quantitative information on the orientational properties of the C–Br bonds is determined. The experimental strategy reported here represents the basis of a new approach for gaining insights into the orientational properties of molecules in anisotropic materials.

Journal Keywords: X-Ray Birefringence; Phase Transition; Molecular Orientation; Synchrotron; Solid Inclusion Compound

Subject Areas: Technique Development

Instruments: B16-Test Beamline

Added On: 06/12/2012 14:45

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