Applications for the class of 2021-2023 are now open.

Deadline for scholarships: February 15th, 2021.

Deadline for self-financed admissions: June 15th, 2021.

Master SERP+ Programme

Dynamics of photochemical reactions in chemistry, biology and medicine


  • Principles of absorption and emission spectroscopy (energy, reactivity and structure in singlet and triplet electronic excited states, Jablonski diagram).
  • Timescales and mechanisms of fast and ultrafast processes (radiative decay, rotational motion, vibrational motion, internal conversion and intersystem crossing, vibrational relaxation, collisions in liquids).
  • Potential energy surfaces of the ground state (S0) and excited state (S1 or T1) and of various processes following the initial excitation. Structure (geometry) changes in the excited state as an important path of deactivation in radiationless physical processes  and photochemical reactions. Relation between physical processes and chemical reactions: rotation and isomerization reactions, vibration and dissociation reactions.
  • Short-lived species formed in photochemical reactions: radicals, radical-ions, dimers, complexes. The effects of concentration of the substance studied, of the solvent properties and of the wavelength of the radiation absorbed. Energy transfer processes, sensitizers and quenchers.
  • Storage and conversion of solar energy.
  • Instruments and methods of investigation of photophysical processes and photochemical reactions. Steady-state and time-resolved (laser) absorption and emission spectroscopy.
  • Application of sensitization and/or quenching processes in studies of mechanism and dynamics of photophysical and photochemical processes, using time-resolved and steady-state spectroscopy. Stern-Volmer equation
  • Sunscreens – mechanism of action, composition, energy dissipation
  • Labs include nano- and femotosecond transient absorption spectroscopy, laser spectroscopy.


The student knows the breakthroughs in light-related sciences, knows most important discoveries related to the interaction between light and matter, knows the principles of operation of the most popular spectroscopic devices (e.g.: absorption and emission spectrophotometer, laser) and some selected, more advanced setups (transient absorption spectroscopy and TCSPC techniques).

Recommended Books

  • H. Zewail: Ultrafast Molecular Reaction Dynamics in Real-Time, Ann. Rev. Phys. Chem. 41, 15, 1990
  • G. R. Fleming: Chemical Applications of Ultrafast Spectroscopy, Oxford Univ. Press, 1986
  • M. A. El-Sayed, I. Tanaka, Y. Molin: Ultrafast Processes in Chemistry and Photobiology, Blackwell Science 1995
  • F. C. De Schryver, S. De Feyter, G. Schweitzer: Femtochemistry, Wiley-VCH, 2001

Teaching Staff

Prof. Bronislaw Marciniak
Prof. Bohdan Skalski
Dr. Gonzalo Angulo
Dr. Tomasz Pedzinski


Lectures 15 h
Project based learning 35 hours
Journal club 10 hours