Many proteins, sugars, and pharmaceuticals crystallize into two forms that are mirror images of each other (enantiomers) such as our right and left hands (chiral). Berlinite (AlPO4) and low quartz (SiO2) have enantiomers belonging to a space-group pair, P3121 (right-handed screw) and P3221 (left-handed screw). We use circularly polarized resonant x-ray diffraction to study structural chirality. Our results demonstrate that positive and negative circularly polarized x-rays at the resonant energy of berlinite (Al1s edge) and low quartz (Si1s edge) can distinguish the absolute structure (right or left-handed screw) of an enantiomer. The advantage of our method is that the measurement of only one space-group forbidden reflection is enough to determine the chirality. This method is applicable to chiral motifs that occur in biomolecules, liquid crystals, ferroelectrics and antiferroelectrics, multiferroics, etc.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2010 Apr 12|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics