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Vibrational Sum Frequency Generation by the Quadrupolar Mechanism at the Nonpolar Benzene/Air Interface

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2015, 22:50 by Korenobu Matsuzaki, Satoshi Nihonyanagi, Shoichi Yamaguchi, Takashi Nagata, Tahei Tahara
The interface selectivity of vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG) spectroscopy is explained under the dipole approximation as resulting from the breakdown of inversion symmetry at the interface. From this viewpoint, VSFG is not expected to occur at the interface consisting of centrosymmetric molecules, because the inversion symmetry is preserved even at the interface. In reality, however, VSFG at the nonpolar benzene/air interface has been observed with traditional homodyne-detected VSFG. Here we report a heterodyne-detected VSFG study of the benzene/air interface. The result strongly indicates that VSFG at this interface cannot be explained within the framework of the dipole approximation. The selection rule and polarization dependence of the observed VSFG signal show that the quadrupole transition plays an essential role because of the field discontinuity at the interface. This finding implies the applicability of interface-selective VSFG to the nonpolar interfaces comprising centrosymmetric molecules, which opens a new possibility of VSFG spectroscopy.