Femtosecond laser-driven ∼ 1 GPa shock waves are used to compress monolayers of hydrocarbon chains. Vibrational sum-frequency generation spectroscopy probes the orientation of the terminal methyl groups. With an odd number (15) of carbon atoms, shock compression is an elastic process that causes the methyl groups to tilt. With an even number (18) of carbon atoms, shock compression is viscoelastic, creating single and double gauche defects. When the shock unloads, single gauche defects remain while double defects relax in 30 ps to single-defect states with more upright methyl groups.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical review letters|
|State||Published - Jan 14 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)