A stochastic principle behind polar properties of condensed molecular matter

Hulliger, Jürg; Wüst, Thomas; Brahimi, Khadidja; Burgener, Matthias; Aboulfadl, Hanane (2013). A stochastic principle behind polar properties of condensed molecular matter. New journal of chemistry, 37(8), p. 2229. Royal Society of Chemistry 10.1039/c3nj40935j

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A statistical mechanics view leads to the conclusion that polar molecules allowed to populate a degree of freedom for orientational disorder in a condensed phase thermalize into a bi-polar state featuring zero net polarity. In cases of orientational disorder polar order of condensed molecular matter can only exist in corresponding sectors of opposite average polarities. Channel type inclusion compounds, single component molecular crystals, solid solutions, optically anomalous crystals, inorganic ionic crystals, biomimetic crystals and biological tissues investigated by scanning pyroelectric and phase sensitive second harmonic generation microscopy all showed domains of opposite polarities in their final grown state. For reported polar molecular crystal structures it is assumed that kinetic hindrance along one direction of the polar axis is preventing the formation of a bi-polar state, thus allowing for a kinetically controlled mono-domain state. In this review we summarize theoretical and experimental findings leading to far reaching conclusions on the polar state of solid molecular matter. “… no stationary state … of a system has an electrical dipole moment.” P. W. Anderson, Science, 1972, 177, 393.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP)

UniBE Contributor:

Hulliger, Jürg; Wüst, Thomas; Brahimi, Khadidja; Burgener, Matthias and Oulevey, Hanane


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Royal Society of Chemistry




Franziska Bornhauser-Rufer

Date Deposited:

04 Apr 2014 23:14

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 01:49

Publisher DOI:






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