98254 - Photoinduced Processes in Biology (CFU 6)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the theoretical bases of photophysics and photochemistry. In particular, the students is able to: - analyze and design photoactive systems; -study intra- and intermolecular processes involving excited states; - understand the working principle and use of the simplest photochemical techniques; - handle the applications of photochemistry in biology; - understand the working principle and use of the simplest photochemical instrumentations and for fluorescence microscopy.

Course contents


  • What is photochemistry
  • Light as a reactant and a product
  • Excited states as new chemical species: different energy, lifetime, geometry, dipole moment, redox and acid/base properties, reactivity
  • Deactivation processes of electronic excited states: rate constants, efficiencies, quantum yields
  • Lifetimes of an electronic excited state: definition and relation to deactivation rate constants

Physico-chemical notes on electronic transitions

  • The electromagnetic spectrum
  • The Jablonski diagram

Excited-state quenching processes

  • Energy (FRET) and electron transfer processes
  • Examples of static and dynamic emission quenching and possible applications in biosystems

Photochemical techniques

  • Steady-state and time-resolved UV-Vis spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence anisotropy
  • Fluorescence microscopy


  • in the biological and medical field: vision, protection against biological damages (sunscreens), photodynamic therapy
  • biphotonic as a signal (sensors and bioimaging) and as a input (drug delivery, photoactivation)
  • to ecological issues: photosmog, photodegradation of pollutants


Lecture notes on the teacher website.

Useful books:

- V. Balzani, P. Ceroni, A. Juris, Photochemistry and Photophysics: Concepts, Research, Applications, Wiley-VCH, 2014.

- L. Moggi, A. Juris and M. T. Gandolfi,"Il manuale del fotochimico", Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2006.

Teaching methods

Class lessons and ppt presentations

Assessment methods

The final exam aims to verify the knowledge and the competences and will be an oral test

Teaching tools

Dashboard, PC, Power Point slides, scientific papers

Office hours

See the website of Giacomo Bergamini