Pyroelectric and piezoelectric scanning microscopy applied to reveal the bipolar state of 4-iodo-4′-nitrobiphenyl (INBP)

Matthias Burgener, Gaël Labat, Michel Bonin, Alessio Morelli, Jürg Hulliger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two recent scanning probe techniques were applied to investigate the bipolar twin state of 4-iodo-4′-nitrobiphenyl (INBP) crystals. Solution grown crystals of INBP show typically a morphology which does not express that of a mono-domain polar structure (Fdd2, mm2). From previous X-ray diffraction a twinning volume ratio of ∼70 : 30 is now explained by two unipolar domains (Flack parameter: 0.075(29)) of opposite orientation of the molecular dipoles, joined by a transition zone showing a width of ∼140 μm. Scanning pyroelectric microscopy (SPEM) demonstrates a continuous transition of the polarization P from +P into -P across the zone. Application of piezoelectric force microscopy (PFM) confirms unipolar alignment of INBP molecules down to a resolution of ∼20 nm. A previously proposed real structure for INBP crystals built from lamellae with antiparallel alignment is thus rejected. Anomalous X-ray scattering was used to determine the absolute molecular orientation in the two domains. End faces of the polar axis 2 are thus made up by NO2 groups. Using a previously determined negative pyroelectric coefficient p c leads to a confirmation also by a SPEM analysis. Calculated values for functional group interactions (D⋯A), (A⋯A), (D⋯D) and the stochastic theory of polarity formation allow us to predict that NO 2 groups should terminate corresponding faces. Following the present analysis, INBP may represent a first example undergoing dipole reversal upon growth to end up in a bipolar state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7652-7656
Number of pages5
JournalCrystEngComm
Volume15
Issue number38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2013

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