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Electronic Spectroscopy

  1. Joseph L. Hughes,
  2. Elmars Krausz

Published Online: 15 DEC 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119951438.eibc0312

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Hughes, J. L. and Krausz, E. 2011. Electronic Spectroscopy. Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2011


Developments in the ability of electronic spectroscopy to provide insights into the fundamental electronic structure, photophysical and/or photochemical processes in inorganic and bioinorganic systems are outlined. These are highlighted by a number of examples across a range of chemical and biochemical systems. Some fundamental constraints regarding the application of electronic spectroscopy to a wider range of chemical questions are identified, as well as both practical and intrinsic limitations associated with the processes of measurement. The ubiquitous phenomenon of spectral broadening in optical and UV spectroscopy is given particular attention and the important concept of homogeneous versus inhomogeneous broadening is highlighted. The overall focus is on absorption-based spectroscopies of chromophores at variable and low temperatures in either glassy, crystalline, or protein environments. The utilization of some of the powerful emerging technologies such as tuneable laser sources or synchrotron sources, along with the very high efficiency charge coupled device (CCD) and semiconductor diode detectors that are now available, allows the rapid accumulation of high quality spectra of small samples as well as measurements in minimal actinic fluences.


  • excited electronic states;
  • absorption;
  • transition strengths;
  • homogeneous and inhomogeneous broadening;
  • polarizations;
  • glass-forming mixtures;
  • sensitivity;
  • low-temperature cell design