Chiroptical Methods and Their Applications to Biomolecular Systems

  • Ignacio TinocoJr.
  • Carlos Bustamente
  • Marcos F. Maestre
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 45)


We will describe the various optical methods which have been used to study chiral biomacromolecules and their ordered aggregates such as found in viruses, ribosomes, membranes, etc. It is redundant to use the term chiral biomacromolecule, because all biomacromolecules are chiral. Therefore, we use chiral to chararacterize the optical method. A chiroptical method is thus one which yields nonzero results only when applied to chiral molecules. Here we will consider:
  • circular dichroism — the differential absorption of incident left and right circularly polarized light

  • circular intensity differential scattering — the differential scattering of incident left and right circularly polarized light optical rotation — the rotation of the plane of polarization of incident linearly polarized light

  • circularly polarized luminescence — the differential emission of left and right circularly polarized light


Circular Dichroism Circular Polarization Optical Activity Vacuum Ultraviolet Vibrational Circular Dichroism 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ignacio TinocoJr.
    • 1
  • Carlos Bustamente
    • 1
  • Marcos F. Maestre
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Laboratory of Chemical BiodynamicsUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Donner Laboratory, Division of Medical PhysicsUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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