Linear dichroism probes to study internal electric fields


LARGE electric fields outside a highly charged macro-ion or between any ion and its counter ion atmosphere form the basis of electrolyte theory. The fields manifest themselves in a number of macroscopic properties of such systems, but few, if any, successful measurements of such fields have been possible. We report here observations which suggest that optical probes can be used as field meters in anisotropic solvents: In aqueous solutions containing flow-aligned cylindrical micelles of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) several anisotropic anions exhibit linear dichroism effects which can be ascribed to orientation and perturbation of these chromophores by a radially directed field of about 108 V m−1 surrounding each (CTA+)n cylinder.

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NORDÉN, B. Linear dichroism probes to study internal electric fields. Nature 269, 314–316 (1977).

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