Photo-Chemistry and Clean Energy

For all photobiology, photochemistry is the underlying mechanism. When a molecule absorbs a photon of light, it changes its electronic structure, and reacts differently to other molecules. The energy absorbed from light can lead to photochemical changes in the absorbing molecule, or in an adjacent molecule (e.g., photosensitizing). The energy can also be discharged as heat or as lower energy light, i.e. fluorescence or phosphorescence, to return the molecule to its ground condition.

The use of clean, renewable energy is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce the environmental impact. Electricity generation is our # 1 source of greenhouse gases, more than all our combined driving and flying, and clean energy also reduces harmful smog, toxic accumulations in our air and water, and the impacts of coal mining and gas extraction. But it will take time to replace our fossil-fuel infrastructure – and solid, consistent funding from both state and federal initiatives to develop renewable energy generation and consumer and business demand for clean energy.



  • Electronic photo-excited states
  • Energy transfer science and technologies
  • Photocatalysis
  • Photochemical organic synthesis
  • Photochemistry
  • Photoinduced electron transfer
  • Selective photo-oxidation
  • Selective photo-reduction
  • Semiconductor photocatalysis

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