Nonlinear optical properties of X(C6H5)4 (X = B-, C, N+, P+): A new class of molecules with a negative third-order polarizability

Rebecca L. Gieseking, Trenton R. Ensley, Honghua Hu, David J. Hagan, Chad Risko, Eric W. Van Stryland, Jean Luc Brédas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Organic π-conjugated materials have been widely used for a variety of nonlinear optical (NLO) applications. Molecules with negative real components Re(γ) of the third-order polarizability, which leads to nonlinear refraction in macroscopic systems, have important benefits for several NLO applications. However, few organic systems studied to date have negative Re(γ) in the long wavelength limit, and all inorganic materials show positive nonlinear refraction in this limit. Here, we introduce a new class of molecules of the form X(C6H5)4, where X = B-, C, N+, and P+, that have negative Re(γ). The molecular mechanism for the NLO properties in these systems is very different from those in typical linear conjugated systems: These systems have a band of excited states involving single-electron excitations within the π-system, several of which have significant coupling to the ground state. Thus, Re(γ) cannot be understood in terms of a simplified essential-state model and must be analyzed in the context of the full sum-over-states expression. Although Re(γ) is significantly smaller than that of other commonly studied NLO chromophores, the introduction of a new molecular architecture offering the potential for a negative Re(γ) introduces new avenues of molecular design for NLO applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9635-9642
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number30
StatePublished - Aug 5 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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