Crystalline perfection, optical and dielectric studies on l-histidine nitrate: A nonlinear optical material

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Single crystals of l-histidine nitrate (LHN), a recently investigated nonlinear optical material, were grown by conventional solution technique. Crystal structure and vibrational modes of the grown crystals were confirmed by powder X-ray diffractometry and FT-Raman spectrometry, respectively. Crystalline perfection of the grown crystals was evaluated by employing an in-house developed high-resolution X-ray diffractometer (HRXRD) and it was found that the grown crystals were free from structural grain boundaries and the perfection was reasonably good. However, HRXRD could reveal the fact that the crystals contain predominantly the interstitial point defects. The birefringence was measured over a range of wavelength between 5480 and 5630Å and it was found that its value is nearly constant and 10 times higher than that of KDP. The optical band gap was found to be ∼3.73eV. The photoluminescence excitation and emission spectra for single crystals were recorded. The SHG efficiencies of LHN samples of different particle sizes were measured by the Kurtz and Perry technique and they removed the ambiguity in the values reported differently in the literature. Dielectric properties were studied as a function of temperature over a wide range of frequency. The optical and dielectric studies along with the crystalline perfection reveal that the LHN crystal could be a good candidate for nonlinear optical devices.