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Photochemistry (PC)


Actual course information
Up to date schedule information

Core course in MSc Chemistry – Energy & Sustainability, elective course MSc Chemistry, MSc Life Science and Technology


Photochemistry studies the action of light on molecules. It is governed by quantum chemistry, discrete energy levels, and selection rules. Spanning the whole time scale range from femtoseconds to hours, photochemistry finds many applications in sustainable energy research, chemical biology, and medicinal chemistry.
In this course, basic concepts such as excited state multiplicity, quantum yields, and excited state lifetimes, are explained first. Then, the different elementary processes following molecule excitation are described, including emission, non-radiative relaxation, and photoreactions such as electron transfer, energy transfer, or ligand substitutions.
In the third part, the role of photochemistry in biology is highlighted through a selection of naturally occurring photoreactions, as well as light-responsive molecular tools in chemical biology and medicinal chemistry.
Fourth, basic concepts of photocatalysis and their relevance for sustainable energy production are developed.
The fifth part focuses on the one hand on the theoretical modeling of light-induced processes, and on the theory of electron transfer (Buda).
Finally, coherent phenomena and their importance in solar energy research are described (de Groot).
This course is aimed at students from both research areas “Chemical Biology” and “Energy & sustainability”.


Brian Wardle, Principles and Applications of Photochemistry; handouts; articles

Assessment method

Written exam