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Journal Article

Detecting weak signals from interfaces by high accuracy phase-resolved SFG spectroscopy

MPS-Authors
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Thämer,  Martin
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Campen,  R. Kramer
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Wolf,  Martin
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

1808.04255.pdf
(Preprint), 8MB

c8cp04239j.pdf
(Publisher version), 3MB

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Citation

Thämer, M., Campen, R. K., & Wolf, M. (2018). Detecting weak signals from interfaces by high accuracy phase-resolved SFG spectroscopy. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 20(40), 25875-25882. doi:10.1039/c8cp04239j.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-0A34-9
Abstract
Much work over the last 25 years has demonstrated that the interface-specific, alloptical technique, vibrational sum frequency generation (v-SFG) spectroscopy, is often uniquely capable of characterizing the structure and dynamics of interfacial species. The desired information in such a measurement is the complex second order susceptibility which gives rise to the nonlinear response from interfacial molecules. The ability to detect molecular species yielding only small contributions to the susceptibility is meanwhile limited by the precision by which the spectral phase and amplitude can be determined. In this study we describe a new spectrometer design that offers unprecedented phase and amplitude accuracy while significantly improving the sensitivity of the technique. Combining a full collinear beam geometry with a technique enabling the simultaneous measurement of the complex sample and reference spectrum, uncertainties in the reference phase and amplitude are shown to be greatly reduced. Furthermore, we show that using balanced detection, the signal to noise ratio can be increased by one order of magnitude. The capabilities of the spectrometer are demonstrated by the isolation of a small isotropic surface signal from the bulk dominated nonlinear optical response of z-cut quartz. The achieved precision of our spectrometer enables measurements not currently feasible in v-SFG spectroscopy.