Polar Orientation of Dyes in Robust Multilayers by Zirconium Phosphate-Phosphonate Interlayers

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Science  06 Dec 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5037, pp. 1485-1487
DOI: 10.1126/science.254.5037.1485


Polar orientation of molecules in solids leads to materials with potentially useful properties such as nonlinear optical and electrooptical activity, electrochromism, and pyroelectricity. A simple self-assembly procedure for preparing such materials is introduced that yields multiple polar dye monolayers on solid surfaces joined by zirconium phosphate-phosphonate interlayers. Second harmonic generation (SHG) shows that the multilayers have polar order that does not decrease with increasing numbers (up to a large number) of monolayers in the film. The inorganic interlayers, as determined by SHG, impart excellent orientational stability to the dye molecules, with the onset of orientational randomization above 150°C.