Evolution of Inorganic and Organometallic Photochemistry: Historical Perspective and Commentary

  • A. W. Adamson
Part of the Catalysis by Metal Complexes book series (CMCO, volume 14)


This introduction is written in an historical, personal vein. While certainly incomplete, hopefully it will provide flavor to and some perspective on the development of inorganic and organometallic photochemistry. Our own first encounter with photochemistry is recorded in a 1950 publication [1]; we were studying the exchange of 14CN with various cyano complexes and only after puzzling initial results did we realize that in the case of Mo(CN) 8 4− the observed exchange was induced by the newly installed fluorescent lighting (an approximate quantum yield of 7.5 is reported in Welker’s thesis, using uranyl oxalate actinometry, along with an interesting sequence of color changes). Later, on a 1954 sabbatical visit to the laboratory of J. Bjerrum, this writer was impressed not only by the large collection of Cr(III) and Co(III) ammine complexes from the time of S.M. Jørgensen, but also by anecdotal mentions of their sensitivity to sunlight.


Excited State Coordination Compound Poly Pyridine Excited State Reaction Ligand Field Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. W. Adamson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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