In the field of vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy (VSFG) applied to organic thin film systems, a significant challenge to data analysis is in the accurate description of optical interference effects. Herein, we provide experimental evidence that a model recently developed in our lab provides an accurate description of this phenomenon. We studied the organic small molecule N,N′-dioctyl-3,4,9,10-perylenedicarboximide vapor deposited as a thickness gradient on silicon wafer substrates with two oxide thicknesses and two surface preps. VSFG data were obtained using the ssp and the sps polarization combinations in the imide carbonyl stretching region as a function of organic thickness. In this first of two reports, the data are modeled and interpreted within the ubiquitous electric dipole approximation for VSFG. The intrinsic sample responses are parameterized during the fitting routines while optical interference effects are simply calculated from the model using known refractive indices, thin film thicknesses, and beam angles. The results indicate that the thin film model provides a good description of optical interferences, indicating that interfacial terms are significant. Inconsistencies between the fitting results within the bounds of the electric dipole response motivate deliberation for additional effects to be considered in the second report.
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