Stark spectroscopy has been applied to a wide range of molecular systems and materials. A generally useful method for obtaining electronic and vibrational Stark spectra that does not require sophisticated equipment is described. By working with frozen glasses it is possible to study nearly any molecular system, including ions and proteins. Quantitative analysis of the spectra provides information on the change in dipole moment and polarizability associated with a transition. The change in dipole moment reflects the degree of charge separation for a transition, a quantity of interest to a variety of fields. The polarizability change describes the sensitivity of a transition to an electrostatic field such as that found in a protein or an ordered synthetic material. Applications to donor-acceptor polyenes, transition metal complexes (metal-to-ligand and metal-to-metal mixed valence transitions), and nonphotosynthetic biological systems are reviewed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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