X-ray natural birefringence in reflection from graphene
2016 (English)In: PHYSICAL REVIEW B, ISSN 2469-9950, Vol. 94, no 4, 045422Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
The existence of natural birefringence in x-ray reflection on graphene is demonstrated at energies spanning the carbon 1s absorption edge. This new x-ray effect has been discovered with precision measurements of the polarization-plane rotation and the polarization-ellipticity changes that occur upon reflection of linearly polarized synchrotron radiation on monolayer graphene. Extraordinarily large polarization-plane rotations of up to 30 degrees, accompanied by a change from linearly to circularly polarized radiation have been measured for graphene on copper. Graphene on single crystalline cobalt, grown on tungsten, exhibits rotation values of up to 17 degrees. Both graphene systems show resonantly enhanced effects at the pi* and sigma* energies. The results are referenced against those obtained for polycrystalline carbon and highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG), respectively. As expected, polycrystalline carbon shows negligible rotation, whereas a huge maximum rotation of 140 degrees has been observed for HOPG that may be considered a graphene multilayer system. HOPG is found to exhibit such large rotation values over a broad energy range, even well beyond the pi* resonance energy due to the contributions of numerous graphene layers. To explain the origin of the observed natural birefringence of graphene, the Stokes parameters as well as the x-ray natural linear dichroism in reflection have been determined. It is shown that the birefringence directly results from the optical anisotropy related to the orthogonal alignment of pi* and sigma* bonds in the graphene layer. Our polarization analysis reveals a strong bonding of graphene on Co with a reduced sigma* excitation energy and a strong tilt of 50% of the p(z) orbitals towards diagonal orientation. In contrast, graphene on Cu is weakly bound with an orthogonal orientation of the p(z) orbitals. Exhibiting such a large natural birefringence that can be controlled through substrate choice, and because of excellent heat conductivity, graphene materials have a potential to be used as tunable x-ray phase shifting lambda/4 or lambda/2 plates in the design of future high-intensity light sources.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 94, no 4, 045422
Condensed Matter Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300452DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.94.045422ISI: 000379651000006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-300452DiVA: diva2:951509
FunderSwedish Research Council