Sum-frequency spectroscopic studies: I. Surface melting of ice, II. Surface alignment of polymers
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sum-frequency spectroscopic studies: I. Surface melting of ice, II. Surface alignment of polymers


Surface vibrational spectroscopy via infrared-visible sum-frequency generation (SFG) has been established as a useful tool to study the structures of different kinds of surfaces and interfaces. This technique was used to study the (0001) face of hexagonal ice (Ih). SFG spectra in the O-H stretch frequency range were obtained at various sample temperatures. For the vapor(air)/ice interface, the degree of orientational order of the dangling OH bonds at the surface was measured as a function of temperature. Disordering sets in around 200 K and increases dramatically with temperature, which is strong evidence of surface melting of ice. For the other ice interfaces (silica/OTS/ice and silica/ice), a similar temperature dependence of the hydrogen bonded OH stretch peak was observed; the free OH stretch mode, however, appears to be different from that of the vapor (air)/ice interface due to interactions at the interfaces. The technique was also used to measure the orientational distributions of the polymer chains on a rubbed polyvinyl alcohol surface. Results show that the polymer chains at the surface appearto be well aligned by rubbing, and the adsorbed liquid crystal molecules are aligned, in turn, by the surface polymer chains. A strong correlation exists between the orientational distributions of the polymer chains and the liquid crystal molecules, indicating that the surface-induced bulk alignment of a liquid crystal film by rubbed polymer surfaces is via an orientational epitaxy-like mechanism. This thesis also contains studies on some related issues that are crucial to the above applications. An experiment was designed to measure SFG spectra in both reflection and transmission. The result confirms that SFG in reflection is generally dominated by the surface contribution. Another issue is the motional effect due to fast orientational motion of molecules at a surface or interface. Calculations show that the effect is significant if the molecular orientation varies over a broad range within the vibrational relaxation time. The stretch vibration of the free OH bonds at the vapor/water interface is used to illustrate the importance of the effect.

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