Organizations & People
Pure Appl. Chem.,
Vol. 68, No.12, pp. 2223-2286, 1996
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DIVISION
COMMISSION ON PHOTOCHEMISTRY
Glossary of Terms Used in Photochemistry
(IUPAC Recommendations 1996)
World Wide Web version by
European Photochemistry Association (EPA)
Prepared for publication by J. W. Verhoeven, Laboratory of Organic
Chemistry, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 129, 1018
WS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Introduction to the 1996 Revision: A provisional version of
this Glossary was published in the period 1983-1984 in the Newsletters
of the European Photochemical Association, the Inter-American Photochemical
Society, and the Japanese Photochemical Association.The first edition
of the "Glossary of Terms Used in Photochemistry" was prepared for
publication in the Commission by S.E. Braslavsky and K.N. Houk. It
was published in 1988 (Pure Appl. Chem. (1988) 60,1055-1106)
and has since been incorporated in the "Handbook of Organic Photochemistry"
Vol. II, J.C. Scaiano Ed., CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, 1989, and in
"Photochromism: Molecules and Systems", H. Durr and H. Bouas-Laurent
Eds., Elsevier Science Publishers,1990.
In the present second edition a number of minor errors encountered
in the first edition have been corrected and furthermore it has been
expanded especially to incorporate terms related to (photoinduced)
electron transfer processes. The draft of this second edition was
completed by the commission May 1993, and the commission is pleased
to acknowledge the contributions of many external experts who helped
to realize the inclusion of terms related to electron transfer in
this second revised and enhanced edition of the Glossary, the following
have contributed: V. Balzani, I.P. Beletskaya , J.R. Bolton , M. Chanon,
A.K. Chibisov , L. Eberson , M.A. Fox, D. Gust, A.B.P. Lever, N.A.
Lewis, R.A. Marcus, N. Mataga, K.A. Zachariasse
In the final approval stage corrections and additions were made on
the suggestions of:
H. Bouas-Laurent, D. De Keukeleire, H. Favre (IDCNS), K. Kuchitsu
(IDCNS), P. Kratochvil (IDCNS), K. Tsujimoto, W.E. van der Linden
(IDCNS), T. Vidóczy and F. Weber (IDCNS).
It is trusted that in this revised and enhanced form the Glossary
will continue to serve its purpose, which is 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 Commission wants to emphasize, however, that it
is not the purpose of this compilation to impose terms or rules which
would hinder the freedom of choice in the use of terminology. Photochemistry
being an interdisciplinary area of science which involves, in addition
to chemistry, such different fields as laser technology, spectroscopy,
polymer science, solid state physics, biology, and medicine, just to
name some of them, it has been necessary to reach compromises and, in
some cases, to include alternative definitions used in different areas.The
general criterion adopted for the inclusion of a term has been:
(i) its wide use in the present or past literature,
(ii) ambiguity or uncertainty in its usage.
With very few exceptions concerning widely accepted terms, name reactions
have been omitted.
The arrangement of entries is alphabetical and the criterion adopted
by the Physical Organic Chemistry Commission of IUPAC has been followed
for the type of lettering used: italicized words in a definition
or at the end of it indicate a relevant cross reference, a term in
quotation marks indicates that it is not defined in this Glossary
(see "Glossary of Terms Used in Physical Organic Chemistry", Pure
Appl. Chem. (1983) 55,1281-1371). In addition, an underlined
word marks its importance in the definition under consideration. It
is expected that many of the definitions provided will be subject
to change. The Commission welcomes all suggestions for improvement
and updating of the Glossary and commits itself to revise it in the
The terms pertaining to Physical Organic Chemistry are defined in
the "Glossary of Terms Used in Physical Organic Chemistry", Pure
Appl. Chem. (1983) 55,1281-1371. Cross checking for consistency
has been performed with this Glossary as well as with its provisional
Internationally agreed upon terms were taken from:
"Manual of Symbols and Terminology for Physicochemical Quantities
and Units", Pure Appl. Chem. (1979) 51,1-41.(Latest
Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry", I. Mills, T. Cvitas,
K. Homann, N Kallay and K. Kuchitsu, Blackwell Science Ltd, 1993)
"Quantities and units of light and related electromagnetic radiations"
International Standard ISO 31/6 (1980/1992), International Organization
for Standardization (ISO).
See also the Recommendations 1983, "Molecular Luminescence Spectroscopy",
Pure Appl. Chem. (1984) 56, 231-245.
The Vocabulary of Photochemistry, J. N. Pitts, Jr., F. Wilkinson,
G. S. Hammond, Advances in Photochemistry (1963) 1,1-22.
"Optical Radiation Physics and Illuminating Engineering; Quantities,
Symbols and Units of Radiation Physics", DIN (Deutsches Institut für
Normung) 5031 (1982), F.R.G.
"Radiometric and Photometric Properties of Materials; Definitions
Characteristics", DIN 5036, Part 1 (1979), F.R.G.
"Radiometric and Photometric Characteristics of Materials and their
Measurement", International Commission on Illumination (CIE) (1977)
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