Soft X-Ray Second Harmonic Generation as an Interfacial Probe: Article No. 023901

Steven Christensen, R. Lam, S. Raj, T. Pascal, C. Pemmaraju, L. Foglia, A. Simoncig, N. Fabris, P. Miotti, C. Hull, A. Rizzuto, J. Smith, R. Mincigrucci, C. Masciovecchio, A. Gessini, E. Allaria, G. Ninno, B. Diviacco, E. Roussel, S. SpampinatiG. Penco, S. Mitri, M. Trovo, M. Danailov, D. Sokaras, T.-C. Weng, M. Coreno, L. Poletto, W. Drisdell, D. Prendergast, L. Giannessi, E. Principi, D. Nordlund, R. Saykally, C. Schwartz

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66 Scopus Citations


Nonlinear optical processes at soft x-ray wavelengths have remained largely unexplored due to the lack of available light sources with the requisite intensity and coherence. Here we report the observation of soft x-ray second harmonic generation near the carbon K edge (~284 eV) in graphite thin films generated by high intensity, coherent soft x-ray pulses at the FERMI free electron laser. Our experimental results and accompanying first-principles theoretical analysis highlight the effect of resonant enhancement above the carbon K edge and show the technique to be interfacially sensitive in a centrosymmetric sample with second harmonic intensity arising primarily from the first atomic layer at the open surface. This technique and the associated theoretical framework demonstrate the ability to selectively probe interfaces, including those that are buried, with elemental specificity, providing a new tool for a range of scientific problems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-70998


  • interfaces
  • nonlinear optics
  • surfaces
  • x-ray techniques


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