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Ultrafast Imaging of Photochemical Dynamics: Faraday Discussion

31 August - 2 September 2016, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Photochemical reactions have tremendous scientific importance, ranging from photosynthesis to atmospheric reactions, and technologies such as sensors or displays. Due to the intrinsic complexity of photochemical reactions, they remain the least understood type of chemical process. Nonadiabatic dynamics, ultrafast time-scales, quantum effects and conical intersections are known to be important, but a detailed comprehension remains elusive. However, new experimental techniques capable of monitoring photochemical processes in unprecedented detail are appearing. This includes the development of intense-laser techniques, the construction of free-electron lasers such as the XFEL in Europe and the LCLS in the USA, new sources of pulsed electrons, advanced detection techniques, and important advances in theoretical modelling of quantum dynamics. Many of these techniques are developed by research communities not traditionally concerned with photochemistry, but provide an opportunity to shed new light on photochemical dynamics.


  • Electronic and non-adiabatic dynamics
This session will focus on the important electronic transitions and electronic re-arrangements that accompany photochemical reactions. Techniques used to study these phenomena include photoelectron and high harmonic spectroscopy, as well as a host of other techniques made possible by new table-top XUV and VUV light sources and improved detection techniques.
  • Attosecond processes and X-ray spectroscopy
Attosecond processes and X-ray spectroscopies can provide unique fingerprints of photochemical reactions. This session will focus on new techniques made possible by XFEL sources and ultrafast laser developments. It will cover both high energy and high intensity experiments relevant to chemical structure and dynamics, including the theoretical modelling of how these pulses interact with atoms and molecules.
  • Structural dynamics
Many photochemical reactions are intrinsically linked to complex structural dynamics triggered by the initial absorption of a photon. This session will focus on new ultrafast diffraction techniques made possible by the new hard x-ray lasers and ultrafast electron sources, as well as complementary structural techniques such as Coulomb explosion imaging.
  • Vibrational and condensed phase dynamics
Vibrational dynamics and condensed phase photochemistry have wide-ranging importance and interest. Frequently, the solvent and other environmental effects strongly modify photochemical reaction pathways. This session will focus on vibrational dynamics and photochemistry in small and large molecules in the condensed phase.


The purpose of this meeting is to gather key participants who represent the full scientific scope of ultrafast imaging and photochemical dynamics. Bringing together different communities of experimentalist and theoreticians working on similar topics but from different perspectives provides an opportunity to ask the fundamental questions and to set the agenda for future research. The meeting will be used to identify how new techniques can complement each other, while addressing specific areas of contention and controversy, and asking; Is the field reaching a point where the fundamental guiding principles of photochemistry can be established?


The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years.
Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research.
The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.

The format of the Faraday Discussions meeting is ideal for discussions that transgress the many emerging experimental technologies and theoretical approaches. An auxiliary benefit of the meeting is to bring together established researchers in the field with the new community coming through.

Also of interest

Leading up to the Faraday Discussion, you may also be interested in the 2nd XLIC WG1 meeting – Ultrafast electron dynamics in molecules which will take place in Edinburgh on 28-30 August. 
More information about the event may be found using the link on this page.

The winner of the Student Poster Prize was Joao Pedro Figueira Nunes, University of York
Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 11 April 2016. 

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume. 

Poster Abstracts

Submit your poster abstract by 20 June 2016. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

Bursaries are available for student and younger members of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the early stages of their career (typically within 5 years of completing a first or postgraduate degree). See the bursary page for more details.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation. 

Please read the registration information before registering.
You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions 
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on Wednesday 31 August and Thursday 1 September
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on Wednesday 31 August
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on Thursday 1 September
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
  • A copy of the final theme issue of Faraday Discussion Volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 6 months after the meeting)**
  • For non-member registrants, membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2017                 
Registration fees are as follows: 
Early bird
(by 11 July 2016
by 1 August 2016
Members* £335 £385
Non-members £435 £485
Student members* £160 £210
Student non-members £185 £235

Registration fees are VAT exempt.

* If you are an Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

**Excluding students, who can order the volume at a reduced price at the conference.

Student Delegates

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available.

Conference Dinner

The 3 course conference dinner will take place at the Ghillie Dhu on Thursday 1 September and is included in the registration fee.
Book now

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

There are a number of Royal Society of Chemistry bursaries available to student and younger members of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the early stages of their career (typically within 5 years of completing a first or postgraduate degree) who do not have support available from their employer or a research grant. 

Applicants should be Royal Society of Chemistry members at the time of application and at the meeting for which the travel bursary is being given.

The bursary is £150 per applicant and funding is supplied by the RSC Travel Grant Scheme.

Deadline for applications: 11 July 2016
Sponsors and exhibitors
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at Ultrafast Imaging of Photochemical Dynamics: Faraday Discussion

As well as booking a table top exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor social events, advertise in the abstract book or place a promotional item in delegate packs. See the sponsorship menu document (available to download from this page) for more details and prices.

Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you would like more information about sponsoring Ultrafast Imaging of Photochemical Dynamics: Faraday Discussion, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry -


We are pleased to announce that Laser Quantum will be exhibiting at this event. Sponsorship Menu
Royal Society of Edinburgh

Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2PQ, United Kingdom

Travel by road:
Main roads into Edinburgh are the M8 from the West and the A1 from the South. From the East please follow the A90 and head for Queensferry Road. If you are arriving by car please note that parking near he Royal Society of Edinburgh is limited to meter parking only which can prove costly. The nearest car parks are at the St James centre; Leith Street or Castle Terrace, where there are 24 hour car parks. Please allow 10-15 minutes after parking to get to the venue.

Travel by rail:
Waverley Station is a five minute walk from the Royal Society of Edinburgh with frequent local and national services. For further information on train services please contact National Rail Enquiries.

Travel by air:
Edinburgh airport is approximately 12 kilometres from the city centre and is well served by frequent bus services and airport taxis. Car hire is available at the airport . The airport is a 20-30 minute car drive from the city centre.
There is a tram that runs direct from the airport to the city centre

Travel by bus:
Bus services to and from Edinburgh arrive/depart from St Andrew Square which is a five minute walk away.
​Please note that accommodation is not included in the registration fee. 

Rooms can be booked via a booking agent - Ellis Salsby, please use the link on this page.

Rooms have also been secured at Pollack Halls on the University Campus for 2 nights (31st/1st) at a cost of £160 including breakfast.  This can be booked using the link on this page.  Rooms have to be paid for at the time of booking.  Pollack Halls are a 30 minute walk from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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