Photochemical reaction

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photochemical reaction

A chemical reaction that involves either the absorption or emission of radiation.

The absorption of an ultraviolet photon often provides the energy required to break chemical bonds and initiate a reaction sequence. Examples of photochemical reactions are the photolysis of nitrogen dioxide, NO2 → NO + O, or ozone, O3 → O2 + O. The latter reaction leads to the initiation of chain reactions that cause the breakdown of hydrocarbons and other pollutants in the troposphere.
See also photolysis, photodecomposition.