Revisiting polarimetry near the isotropic point of an optically active, non-enantiomorphous, molecular crystal

Alexander T. Martin, Melissa Tan, Shane M. Nichols, Emily Timothy, Bart Kahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate polarimetric measurements of the optical activity of crystals along low symmetry directions are facilitated by isotropic points, frequencies where dispersion curves of eigenrays cross and the linear birefringence disappears. We report here the optical properties and structure of achiral, uniaxial (point group D2d) potassium trihydrogen di-(cis-4-cyclohexene-1,2-dicarboxylate) dihydrate, whose isotropic point was previously detected (S. A. Kim, C. Grieswatch, H. Küppers, Zeit. Krist. 1993; 208:219–222) and exploited for a singular measurement of optical activity normal to the optic axis. The crystal structure associated with the aforementioned study was never published. We report it here, confirming the space group assignment I (Formula presented.) c2, along with the frequency dependence of the fundamental optical properties and the constitutive tensors by fitting optical dispersion relations to measured Mueller matrix spectra. k-Space maps of circular birefringence and of the Mueller matrix near the isotropic wavelength are measured and simulated. The signs of optical rotation are correlated with the absolute crystallographic directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-849
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Mueller matrix
  • X-ray diffraction
  • circular birefringence
  • isotropic wavelength
  • optical rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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