X-ray birefringence imaging of materials with anisotropic molecular dynamics

Benjamin A. Palmer, Gregory R. Edwards-Gau, Benson M. Kariuki, Kenneth D.M. Harris, Igor P. Dolbnya, Stephen P. Collins, John P. Sutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The X-ray birefringence imaging (XBI) technique, reported very recently, is a sensitive tool for spatially resolved mapping of the local orientational properties of anisotropic materials. In this paper, we report the first XBI measurements on materials that undergo anisotropic molecular dynamics. Using incident linearly polarized X-rays with energy close to the Br K-edge, the X-ray birefringence is dictated by the orientational properties of the C-Br bonds in the material. We focus on two materials (urea inclusion compounds containing 1,8-dibromooctane and 1,10-dibromodecane guest molecules) for which the reorientational dynamics of the brominated guest molecules (and hence the reorientational dynamics of the C-Br bonds) are already well characterized by other experimental techniques. The XBI results demonstrate clearly that, for the anisotropic molecular dynamics in these materials, the effective X-ray optic axis for the X-ray birefringence phenomenon is the time-averaged resultant of the orientational distribution of the C-Br bonds. (Chemical Equation Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-567
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 5 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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