Glossary Term: Chromophore

A chromophore is the part of a molecule responsible for its color. The color arises when a molecule absorbs certain wavelengths of visible light and transmits or reflects others. The chromophore is a region in the molecule where the energy difference between two different molecular orbitals falls within the range of the visible spectrum. Visible light that hits the chromophore can thus be absorbed by exciting an electron from its ground state into an excited state. In biological molecules that serve to capture or detect light energy, the chromophore is the moiety that causes a conformational change of the molecule when hit by light.

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Created: 2019-06-22 19:14:42 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2019-06-22 19:14:42 CDT (-0400)