Photochemistry

Definition

Photochemistry is the study of chemical processes that occur because of the absorption of light. The study of photochemical systems that use sunlight to drive important chemical reactions or to generate electricity is of great practical significance for the development of sustainable sources of energy.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Femtochemistry, the real-time study of reactions on a timescale that captures the molecular and atomic activity involved, has traditionally been performed in the gas or liquid phase. It has now been extended to the solid state in a study that highlights how a controlled reaction environment can place steric constraints on the motions of photoproducts.

    • Giulio Cerullo
    •  & Marco Garavelli
    Nature Chemistry 9, 506–507
  • News and Views |

    Silicon-based photovoltaics dominate the market. A study now sets a new record efficiency for large-area crystalline silicon solar cells, placing the theoretical efficiency limits within reach.

    • Pierre-Jean Ribeyron
    Nature Energy 2, 17067
  • News and Views |

    Multiple exciton generation, in which two electron–hole pairs are generated from the absorption of one high-energy photon, has been demonstrated to improve efficiency in quantum-dot-based solar cells. Now, a photoelectrochemical system using PbS quantum dots is shown to drive hydrogen evolution with external quantum efficiency over 100%.

    • Mikhail Zamkov
    Nature Energy 2, 17072
  • News and Views |

    Cheap, efficient, and stable thin photovoltaics that use abundant and non-toxic materials can deliver widespread renewable energy. New results using Earth-abundant and potentially cheap ZnO/Sb2Se3 solar cells indicate promising levels of stability.

    • Supratik Guha
    Nature Energy 2, 17057