During my summer stay at the University of Leuven in 2006, I was working with my colleagues on interpreting data from new experiments using the intrinsic hyperpolarizability as a guide. That was when we discovered that modulation of conjugation was a new approach for making molecules with larger nonlinearities. It was an exciting time that eventually led to a paper that hit the internet in January 2007.
It caused quite a sensation. The morning that it appeared, I had a pile of emails in my inbox from reporters. My collaborator was even interviewed on Belgian TV. The Inquirer, a British publication, called us boffins (at first I thought it was a derogatory term). CBC News, ScienceBase, Materials World, Nature, and many others also covered the story.
In the midst of all this mayhem, we were working on another project. Who would have guessed that it would be 4 years from the initial idea until the work was finally published. I mentioned this work a while back in a post as being finally done, but as it turns out, it wasn't. We kept on finding mistakes.
While this work will most likely not get as much attention as our paper from 2007, it is perhaps a much better piece of work because it carefully shows how a combination of sum rules and symmetry can be used to reduce a complex problem into a simple one. With all of the complexity removed, it becomes easier to build an understanding of the physics underlying the phenomena that we observe. This is another paper that I rank in my top ten. I predict that this paper will get less citations than my top-40 cited papers, but those statistics are unimportant to me.
The title of the paper is Experimental verification of a self-consistent theory of the first-, second-, and third-order (non)linear optical response, by Javier Perez-Moreno, Sheng-Ting Hung, Mark G. Kuzyk, Juefei Zhou, Shiva K. Ramini, and Koen Clays. It is slated to appear in Physics Review A -- a journal I consider to be top notch. No glitz, no fancy photos, just hard core Physics.
Xavi must have been thrilled when he got the letter:
Dear Dr. Perez-Moreno,
We are pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been accepted
for publication as a Regular Article in Physical Review A.
His email to his coauthors tells it all:
After 3.5 years of revisions, I think we learned a lot about AF455 and octupoles in general, group theory, fluorescence, quantum yields; but, it has paid off. I feel very proud of this paper!