Second harmonic (SH) microscopy represents a powerful tool for the investigation of crystalline systems, such as ferroelectrics and their domain walls (DWs). Under the condition of normal dispersion, i.e., the refractive index at the SH wavelength is larger as compared to the refractive index at the fundamental wavelength, n (2 ω) > - > n (ω), bulk crystals will generate no SH signal. Should the bulk, however, contain DWs, an appreciable SH signal will still be detectable at the location of DWs stemming from the Čerenkov mechanism. In this work, we demonstrate both how SH signals are generated in bulk media and how the Čerenkov mechanism can be inhibited by using anomalous dispersion, i.e., n (ω) > - > n (2 ω). This allows us to quantitatively estimate the relative strength of the Čerenkov compared to other SH contrast mechanisms in DWs, such as the interference contrast. The results are in agreement with previous experiments based on the geometric separation of the signals. Due to the observed, strong Čerenkov contrast, such signal contributions may not be neglected in polarimetry studies of ferroelectric DWs in the future.
|Journal of Applied Physics
|Published - 7 Dec 2022