Abstract

The efficiency of second-harmonic generation from achiral anisotropic surfaces can be different for left- and right-hand circularly polarized fundamental light. Such optical activity occurs if the orientation of the anisotropic sample makes the experimental arrangement chiral. The effects change sign as the handedness of the experiment is reversed. The theoretical predictions are confirmed by experiments with anisotropic Langmuir–Blodgett films of 2-docosylamino-5-nitropyridine. These optical-activity effects are important in the study of surface chirality and in the detailed characterization of anisotropic nonlinear thin films.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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