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A Bird’s-Eye View of Nonlinear-Optical Processes: Unification Through Scale Invariance
Mark G. Kuzyk

The Schrödinger equation has the property that when changing the length scale by r → ∈r and the energy scale by EE/∈2, the shape of the wavefunction remains unchanged. The same re-scaling leaves the intrinsic hyperpolarizability (as well as higher-order hyperpolarizabilities) unchanged. As such, the intrinsic hyperpolarizability is the best quantity for comparing molecules since it re-normalizes for trivial differences that are due to molecular size and energy gap. Similarly, the intrinsic hyperpolarizability is invariant to changes in the number of electrons. In this paper, we review the concept of scale invariance and how it can be applied to better understand the nonlinear optical response, which can be used to develop new paradigms for it’s optimization.

Keywords: Fundamental limits, sum rules, scale invariance, hyperpolarizability, nonlinear susceptibility.

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