Flash photolysis is a pump-probe technique, in which a laser of nanosecond, picosecond, or femtosecond pulse width is excited by a short-pulse light source such as a flash lamp. The technique was developed in 1949 by Manfred Eigen, Ronald George Wreyford Norrish and George Porter , who won the 1967 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this invention.
Flash photolysis was developed shortly after World War II as a result of the military attempts to build cameras fast enough to photograph missiles in flight. As an analytical technique it was introduced to scientists by Manfred Eigen, Ronald Norrish and George Porter, who jointly won the 1967 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this invention. Within the past 40 years the technique became more powerful and sophisticated due to the developments in optics and lasers. Also the interest in this method grew considerably as the practical applications expanded from chemistry to biology, materials science, environmental sciences, etc. Nowadays flash photolysis facilities are extensively used by researchers to study light induced processes in organic molecules, polymers, nanoparticles, semiconductors, photosynthesis in plants, signaling and light induced conformational changes in biological systems, etc.
- Nobel Prize: Chemistry 1967