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Pure Appl. Chem., Vol. 68, No.12, pp. 2223-2286, 1996



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, and
(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 future.

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 second edition.

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 version: "Quantities, 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.

Other sources:

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) 38.

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