The visibility of inverted domain structures using the second harmonic generation (SHG) microscope is discussed based upon the three-wave coupling equations. Without reference second harmonic (SH) waves (non-interference case), the SHG intensity at a domain boundary decreases steeply along the perpendicular direction to the domain wall, which is observed as a dark line. Thus the non-interference SHG microscope reveals the location of domain boundaries but not the domain polarity which the SHG interference microscope can do. In the case of periodically poled domain structures, the clear observation criterion is expressed with the wave-number offset between the fundamental and SH waves.
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