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Surface Measurements Using Absorption/Luminescence

Electronic Absorption and Luminescence

  1. Philip B. Oldham1,
  2. Alexander N. Asanov1,
  3. Vinay M. Rangnekar2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a5414

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Oldham, P. B., Asanov, A. N. and Rangnekar, V. M. 2006. Surface Measurements Using Absorption/Luminescence. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Mississippi State University, USA

  2. 2

    MedPharmx, Inc., Pomona, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


The physical and chemical characteristics of surfaces along with the structure and dynamics of molecules near surfaces or interfaces have recently become critically important. Surface measurements have provided important information concerning the properties of the surfaces and the surface/adsorbate interactions. The physical, chemical and biological sciences have benefited tremendously from these studies, with significant developments being made in the areas of diagnostic devices, optical devices, electronic devices and sensors.

The specific behavior of macromolecules at or near surfaces, interfaces, and membranes is currently of primary interest in the biological sciences. Important applications include: adsorption of blood proteins on biomaterials in thrombogenesis research; the binding to and triggering of living cells by hormones, neurotransmitters and antigens; cell adhesion to various surfaces; the mechanism of electron transport in mitochondrial and photosynthetic membranes; and also reaction rate enhancement with membrane receptors by nonspecific adsorption and surface diffusion of ligands. However, investigation of biomolecular behavior at surfaces and interfaces remains a difficult task. Most of the common analytical methods available for investigation of surfaces either lack the extent of surface selectivity required or demand relatively harsh sample handling that severely limits the biological relevance of any results obtained. This article specifically describes ultraviolet/visible (UV/VIS) absorption and photoluminescence techniques applicable to analysis of surfaces or thin films.