The absorption of light to induce electronic transitions is one of the most fundamental and important processes in chemistry: photosynthesis exploits the photochemical conversion of light into chemical energy; colour perception derives the absorption and scattering of light of different wavelengths whilst all forms of luminescence derive from the relaxation of electronically excited states. Photochemistry and electronic spectroscopy are important themes that link groups across the Department of Chemistry and provide inspiration for collaborations with the Department of Biology and Department of Physics. Our interests span the fundamentals of electronic spectroscopy and excited states to the photochemistry of metal complexes, dyads for photo-induced electron transfer, organic molecules, solid-state metal oxides, and precursors to polysaccharides. A great strength of the group lies in in-situ and time-resolved spectroscopies to study mechanisms and fundamental principles. Theory provides information about dynamics, the nature of reaction intermediates, and of electronically excited states. Our research has applications in solar fuels, photocatalysis, sunscreens, dyes, medicinal chemistry, and catalysis.
Members of this research theme founded the network Light matters: interactions, reactions, and applications (LIRA) that links the Universities of York, Sheffield and Leeds.