Polarization switching of crystal structure in the nonphotochemical laser-induced nucleation of supersaturated aqueous l-histidine

Xiaoying Sun, Bruce A. Garetz, Allan S. Myerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Polarization switching of polymorphs has been observed in the nonphotochemical laser-induced nucleation of aqueous L-histidine in the supersaturation range 1.40-1.60. Exposure of solutions to 0.24 GW/cm 2, 7 ns pulses of 532 nm light induced the nucleation of different polymorphs of L-histidine depending on polarization state of the light. Circularly polarized laser pulses tended to nucleate the orthorhombic A polymorph, whereas linearly polarized pulses tended to nucleate a mixture of the orthorhombic A and monoclinic B polymorphs. Higher supersaturation also favors the formation of mixed polymorphs. These observations support the hypothesis that the laser is organizing hydrogen-bonded groups of histidine molecules through an optical Kerr alignment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1720-1722
Number of pages3
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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