From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Photodissociation, photolysis, or photodecomposition is a chemical reaction in which a chemical compound is broken down by photons. One or more photons interact with the target molecule.

Photodissociation is not limited to visible light. Any photon with sufficient energy can affect the chemical bonds of a chemical compound. Since a photon's energy is inversely proportional to its wavelength, electromagnetic waves with the energy of visible light or higher, such as ultraviolet light, x-rays and gamma rays are usually involved in such reactions.

One example where this is used is the Light-dependent reaction of photosynthesis. Far more enegetic photons of ultraviolet light (240 nm and shorter) can break the bonds of oxygen molecules. The newly independent oxygen atoms create ozone in the ozone layer.