—photolytic /foht'l it"ik/, adj./foh tol"euh sis/, n.the chemical decomposition of materials under the influence of light.[1910-15; PHOTO- + -LYSIS]
* * *Breakdown of molecules into smaller units via absorption of light.Flash photolysis, an experimental technique developed by Manfred Eigen, Ronald George Weyford Norrish, and George Porter, studies short-lived chemical intermediates formed in many photochemical reactions. An intense, brief flash of light splits molecules into short-lived fragments, which are analyzed by spectrophotometry in a second, less intense flash.
* * *chemical process by which molecules are broken down into smaller units through the absorption of light.The best-known example of a photolytic process is the experimental technique known as flash photolysis, employed in the study of short-lived chemical intermediates formed in many photochemical reactions. The technique, which was developed by the English chemists R.G.W. Norrish and George Porter in 1949, consists of subjecting a gas or liquid to an intense burst of light lasting a few microseconds or milliseconds, followed by a second, ordinarily less intense flash. The first flash dissociates the absorbing compound into short-lived molecular fragments and the second flash provides a means for their identification by spectrophotometry. The method is a valuable tool for the identification of transient chemical intermediates and hence for the study of mechanisms of fast chemical reactions.
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