Optical Second-Harmonic Generation in Crystalline Amino Acids

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Science  05 Feb 1965:
Vol. 147, Issue 3658, pp. 610-611
DOI: 10.1126/science.147.3658.610


Optically active amino acids contain many highly efficient optical second-harmonic generators. When light from a ruby laser at 6943 Å falls on the crystalline amino acids with sufficient intensity, the second harmonic of the light at 3471 Å can be observed. Although the symmetry requirements for optical second-harmonic generation are always met by isomerically pure optically active substances, there is considerable variation in efficiency for the generation of the second harmonic, ranging from almost zero to greater than that of potassium dihydrogen phosphate, the most efficient known.