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(physical chemistry)
Emission of light as a result of a chemical reaction without an apparent change in temperature.



luminescence associated with a chemical reaction. Either the reaction products or components excited as a result of energy transfer from the reaction products may emit the light. A special case of chemiluminescence is bioluminescence—for example, the glow of decaying wood or of certain insects and marine animals.

Chemiluminescence may accompany gase-phase, liquid-phase, or heterogeneous reactions. The emission spectrum may lie in the infrared, visible, or ultraviolet region. Chemiluminescence is observed in spontaneous reactions—that is, when reactants are mixed—and in reactions that occur, for example, during an electric discharge, during electrolysis (galvanoluminescence), or upon exposure to light or to ionizing radiation.

Chemiluminescence is an example of the direct conversion of chemical energy into luminous energy. The brightness of chemiluminescence is proportional to the reaction rate and to the efficiency of light production, that is, the number of photons emitted per reaction event. The efficiency of light production approaches 100 percent for the bioluminescence of certain fireflies and approaches 25 percent for reactions in which esters of oxalic acid are oxidized by hydrogen peroxide. In certain reactions (“bright” reactions), the efficiency is about 1 percent; in other cases, it is considerably lower. Therefore, highly sensitive photoelectric equipment is used to detect chemiluminescence, especially in slow reactions.

The study of chemiluminescence makes it possible to solve subtle theoretical problems regarding the elementary event of chemical conversion, the redistribution of energy in reaction products, and the structure of molecules. In addition, reaction rates or the concentrations of substances can be measured (see). Reactions characterized by intense chemiluminescence are used in chemiluminescent light sources, which are activated by the mixing of reactants and yield luminous fluxes of —0.1 lumen per milliliter of solution. Chemiluminescense is the basis for the operation of chemical lasers.


Vasil’ev, R. F. “Mekhanizmy vozbuzhdeniia khemiliuminestsentsii.” Uspekhi khimii, 1970, vol. 39, issue 6, p. 1130.
Khemiliuminestsentnye metody issledovaniia medlennykh khimicheskikhprotsessov. Moscow, 1966.
Chemiluminescence and Bioluminescence. New York-London, 1973.


References in periodicals archive ?
The activity of different chemiluminescent substrates for peroxidase was evaluated by comparing the enhanced luminol system (18,19) with a new system that uses an acridan as emitting molecule (20) according to the scheme:
Nineteen blood samples that were endotoxemic by the chemiluminescent EA assay were reassayed after treatment with polymyxin B sulfate, a well-characterized endotoxin-binding agent.
The detection step is superficially similar to latex agglutination but uses a low concentration of particles and a novel photochemically triggered chemiluminescent detection technique (5).
Our focus on manufacturing chemiluminescent products that are safe for the environment, phthalate free and biodegradable significantly differentiates Cyalume from other competitors in the market," said Cyalume's CEO Derek Dunaway.
Lumigen APS-5 Chemiluminescent Substrate (Lumigen, Inc.
Chemiluminescent lab assays showed reductions in the ragweed specific IgE levels for the active group and increases for the placebo group," said Ernest Armstrong, chief scientific officer.
The Company's present invention improves the efficiency of the reaction for making a chemiluminescent material whose chemo-fluorescent reaction's active period is controllable as a first-order function of humidity, thus reducing to a second order function the prior art's dependency on ambient temperature.
An automated chemiluminescent phenytoin assay in a heterologous format [Abstract].
The ability to run intracellular calcium assays in combination with the homogeneous, chemiluminescent PathHunter [eth]-Arrestin assay helps drive the costs of primary screening campaigns down while significantly increasing the speed of compound characterization.
Lumigen's proprietary chemiluminescent chemistry is the detection method used in our Access(R) family of immunoassay systems," said Richard Creager, PhD, vice president of research and development for Beckman Coulter's immunoassay business.
The chemiluminescent method used in this study, however, does not indicate which biochemical changes are responsible for this reduced antioxidant capacity in healthy centenarians.
PathHunter[TM] [eth]-Arrestin Assays are the first chemiluminescent GPCR assays that measure the activation of Gi, Gs and Gq coupled receptor signaling by direct arrestin recruitment--rather than through a secondary messenger.