An experimental technique using powders is described which permits the rapid classification of materials according to

(a) magnitude of nonlinear optical coefficients relative to a crystalline quartz standard and

(b) existence or absence of phase matching direction(s) for second‐harmonic generation.

Results are presented for a large number of inorganic and organic substances including single‐crystal data on phase‐matched second‐harmonic generation in HIO3, KNbO3, PbTiO3, LiClO4·3H2O, and CO(NH2)2. Iodic acid (HIO3) has a nonlinear coefficient d14∼1.5×d31 LiNbO3. Since it is readily grown from water solution and does not exhibit optical damage effects, this material should be useful for nonlinear device applications.

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