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Dye Sensitization

Definition

Photosenitization can be defined as a process in which light absorption by a photosensitizer molecule leads to a photophysical or photochemical change in a second molecule or system.

History

The scientific term sensitization referred originally to the process by which a photographic film or plate was made more sensitive to particular wavelengths of light. The history of dye-sensitization began in 1873 with the discovery by Hermann Wilhelm Vogel (1834-1898) that the sensitivity of silver halide photographic plates to green and red light was greatly enhanced by the presence of dyes in the photographic emulsion.  Using a ‘cocktail’ of different coloured dyes, Vogel was able to achieve tone balance in black and white photographs [1].  It is now generally accepted that the photo-excited state of the dye injects electrons into the silver halide, leading to the formation of silver atoms. The oxidized dye can be regenerated by electron transfer from a 'super-sensitizer'