The first hyperpolarizability (β) dispersion curve is measured for the first time for an octupolar nonlinear optical (NLO) molecule (crystal violet, CV) and modeled theoretically, yielding an in-depth understanding of the electronic structure and vibronic and solvation effects on such octupolar conjugated systems. Tunable wavelength hyper-Rayleigh scattering (HRS) measurements were performed on this prototypical octupolar molecule in the broad fundamental wavelength range of 620-1580 nm, showing significant shortcomings of the commonly used β dispersion models. Three well-separated β resonances involving the lowest-energy state and several higher excited states are clearly observed, including a significant contribution from a nominally one-photon forbidden transition. The experimental results for second-harmonic wavelengths above 330 nm are successfully modeled by means of a vibronically coupled essential-state description for octupolar chromophores, developed by Terenziani et al. (J. Phys. Chem. B 2008, 112, 5079), which takes into account polar solvation effects. The relative intensities of the various resonances, including the one below 330 nm, are also quantified by quantum chemical calculations. Furthermore, interesting effects of inhomogeneous broadening due to polar solvation of the two-dimensional chromophore are recognized in both linear and nonlinear spectra, allowing us to quantitatively address the long-standing problem of the band shape of the linear absorption spectrum of CV. This clearly demonstrates that extensive wavelength-dependent HRS measurements, as presented in this work, are essential to the characterization and design of NLO materials and represent a powerful tool to gain valuable information on molecular excitations and environmental effects in general.
First Hyperpolarizability Dispersion of the Octupolar Molecule Crystal Violet: Multiple Resonances and Vibrational and Solvation Effects / J. Campo; A. Painelli; F. Terenziani; T. Van Regemorter; D. Beljonne; E. Goovaerts; W. Wenseleers. - In: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY. - ISSN 0002-7863. - 132:46(2010), pp. 16467-16478. [10.1021/ja105600t]