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X-ray birefringence: a new strategy for determining molecular orientation in materials

Palmer, Benjamin A., Edwards-Gau, Gregory R., Morte Rodenas, Anabel, Kariuki, Benson, Lim, Gin Keat, Harris, Kenneth David Maclean, Dolbnya, Igor P. and Collins, Stephen P. 2012. X-ray birefringence: a new strategy for determining molecular orientation in materials. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 3 (21) , pp. 3216-3222. 10.1021/jz3013547

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords: X-ray birefringence; phase transition; molecular orientation; synchrotron; solid inclusion compound
Publisher: ACS Publications
ISSN: 1948-7185
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 14:50
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/40864

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