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A Short Note on Photochemistry Concepts and Principles

Zare Joseph*

Department of Chemistry, John Carroll University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

*Corresponding Author:
Zare Joseph
Department of Chemistry,
John Carroll University,
Bahir Dar,

Received: 04-Feb-2022, Manuscript No. JCHEM-22-52188; Editor assigned: 08- Feb-2022, Pre QC No. JCHEM -22-52188(PQ); Reviewed: 22- Feb-2022, QC No. JCHEM-22-52188; Accepted: 25-Feb-2022, Manuscript No. JCHEM-22-52188(A); Published: 04-Mar-2022, DOI: 10.4172/2319-9849.11.2.002.

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Photochemistry is crucial in nature since it is the core of photosynthesis, vision, and the creation of vitamin D from sunshine. Temperature-driven reactions are not the same as photochemical reactions. Photochemical pathways get access to high-energy intermediates that cannot be formed thermally, allowing reactions that would otherwise be inaccessible via thermal processes to overcome enormous activation barriers in a short period of time. The photo degradation of plastics shows how damaging photochemistry can be.


The topic of chemistry concerned with the chemical effects of light is known as photochemistry. This concept refers to a chemical reaction caused by the absorption of UV (wavelengths between 100 and 400 nm), visible light (400– 750 nm), or infrared radiation (750–2500 nm) radiation.


Laws of Grotthuss–Draper and Stark–Einstein: Photo excitation is the initial stage of a photochemical reaction in which the reactant is moved to a higher energy state, known as the excited state. The Grotthuss–Draper law, named after chemists Theodor Grotthuss and John W. Draper, asserts that light must be absorbed by a chemical material for a photochemical reaction to occur. According to the Stark-Einstein law (named after physicists Johannes Stark and Albert Einstein); no more than one molecule is activated for a photochemical reaction for each photon of light provided by a chemical system, as indicated by the quantum yield.

Phosphorescence and fluorescence: When photons are absorbed by a molecule or atom in its ground state (S0), one electron is stimulated to a higher orbital level. The spin selection rule ensures that this atom maintains its spin; alternatively, the principle of conservation of linear momentum would be broken. Excitation to a higher singlet state can occur from HOMO to LUMO or a higher orbital, resulting in singlet excitation states S1, S2, S3, at various energies.

Kasha's law means that photo induced decay or Internal Conversion (IC) to S1 would gradually relax higher singlet states. As a result, S1 is frequently the sole meaningful singlet excited state, but not always. This excited state S1 can be further relaxed to S0 by IC, as well as a permitted radiative transition from S1 to S0 that emits a photon; this is known as fluorescence.

Alternatively, the excited state S1 can undergo spin inversion, resulting in a triplet excited state T1 with two unpaired electrons of the same spin. Intersystem Crossing (ISC) of the vibrational and electronic levels of S1 and T1 provides for this violation of the spin selection criterion. This T1 state would be marginally more stable than S1 according to Hund's maximum multiplicity rule.


The energy in photochemical reactions is provided by light. Light is one technique for generating the activation energy required for many processes, to put it more simply. It is possible to selectively excite a molecule with laser light to achieve a desired electrical and vibrational state. Similarly, the emission from a certain state can be monitored selectively to provide a population estimate for that state. Scientists can examine the energy distribution of a chemical reaction's products before the variations in energy are spread out now and average in numerous collisions if the chemical system is at low pressure.

As defined by the Woodward–Hoffmann process theory, the absorption of a photon of light by a reactant molecule may allow a reaction to occur not only by bringing the molecule to the required activation energy but also by changing the symmetry of the molecule's electronic configuration, allowing an otherwise inaccessible reaction path. One example of a per cyclic reaction that may be examined using these rules or the associated frontier molecular orbital theory is a 2+2 cycloaddition reaction.

Photochemical reactions can be hundreds of times faster than thermal reactions; reactions as fast as 109 seconds and associated processes as fast as 1015 seconds have been reported.

The majority of photochemical changes take place in a set of basic phases called main photochemical processes. The excited-state proton transfer is a common example of these processes.