Imaging chiroptical artifacts

John H. Freudenthal, Eva Hollis, Bart Kahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is well-known that circular dichroism (CD) measurements of anisotropic media may contain artifacts that result from mixed linear anisotropies. Such artifacts are generally considered a nuisance. However, systematic artifacts, carefully measured, may contain valuable information. Herein, polycrystalline spherulites of D-sorbitol grown from the melt were analyzed with a Mueller matrix microscope, among other differential polarization images devices. As spherulites grew into one another they developed strong apparent optical rotation and CD signals at the boundaries between spherulites. These signals are shown not to have a chiroptical origin but rather result from the interactions of linear anisotropies in polycrystalline bodies. Such chiroptical artifacts should not be dismissed reflexively. Rather, they are comprehensible crystal-optical effects that serve to define mesoscale structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E20-E27
Issue number1 E
StatePublished - 2009


  • Circular dichroism
  • Linear birefringence
  • Linear dichroism
  • Mueller matrix
  • Optical rotation
  • Sorbitol
  • Spherulite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry


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