Reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS) is shown to provide a means of observing the spontelectric phase of matter, the defining characteristic of which is the occurrence of a spontaneous and powerful static electric field within a film of material. The presence of such a field is demonstrated here through the study of longitudinal-transverse optical splitting in RAIR spectra in films of carbon monoxide, based upon the deposition temperature dependence of this splitting. Analysis of spectral data, in terms of the vibrational Stark effect, allows the measurement of the polarization of spontelectric films, showing for example that solid carbon monoxide at 20 K may maintain a spontelectric field of 3.78 × 107 V m-1, representing a polarization of 3.34 × 10-4 C m-2. We comment on the astrophysical implications of polarized carbon monoxide ices, on the surface of cosmic grains in star-forming regions.
- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Institute of Chemical Sciences - Professor
- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Institute of Mechanical, Process & Energy Engineering - Professor
- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Professor
- Research Centres and Themes, Energy Academy - Professor
Person: Academic (Research & Teaching)