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Vol. 29 No. 4
July-August 2007

Making an imPACt | Recent IUPAC technical reports and recommendations that affect the many fields of pure and applied chemistry.
See also www.iupac.org/publications/pac

Glossary of Terms Used in Photochemistry, 3rd edition (IUPAC Recommendations 2006)

S.E. Braslavsky
Pure and Applied Chemistry
Vol. 79, No. 3, pp. 293–465, 2007
doi:10.1351/pac200779030293

This third edition of the Glossary of Terms Used in Photochemistry incorporates revisions and introduces additional terms related to organic photochemical reactions; terms in the area of molecular anisotropy; the use of polarized ultraviolet, visible, or infrared radiation; and nonlinear optical techniques; as well as the emerging field of computation of excited species. Some changes have been introduced regarding terms related to radiation energy to make this collection fully compatible with internationally agreed-upon terms. Links are included to various web pages listing quantities relevant to the work of photochemists and related to the terms included in this document.

This glossary will continue to provide definitions of terms and symbols commonly used in the field of photochemistry in order to achieve consensus on the adoption of some definitions and on the abandonment of inadequate terms. The Subcommittee on Photochemistry of the IUPAC Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry Division emphasizes that it is not the purpose of this compilation to impose terms or rules that would hinder the freedom of choice in the use of terminology. Photochemistry is an interdisciplinary area of science, which involves, in addition to chemistry, such different fields as laser technology, nano-technology, spectroscopy, polymer science, solid-state physics, biology, and medicine, among others. For this reason, it has been necessary to reach compromises and, in some cases, to include alternative definitions used in different scientific fields. It is also important to recognize that this glossary is not intended to replace the textbooks and compilations in which the various complex aspects related to photochemistry have been handled. The general criterion adopted for the inclusion of a term has been: (i) its wide use in the present or past literature and (ii) ambiguity or uncertainty in its usage.

The first edition of the Glossary of Terms Used in Photochemistry was prepared for publication in 1988 and has been incorporated into the Handbook of Organic Photochemistry and into Photochromism: Molecules and Systems. The second edition of the glossary published in 1996 corrected some minor mistakes in the first and was expanded especially to incorporate terms related to (photoinduced) electron-transfer processes. Major photochemistry and photobiology journals have since adopted the glossary as a guideline. The Photochemical Societies have posted the electronic version of the glossary on their web home pages.

The authors welcome suggestions for improving and updating the glossary.

www.iupac.org/publications/pac/2007/7903/7903x0293.html


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