Spectroscopy of Biomolecules


This curricular unit aims to provide a comprehensive understanding about spectroscopic techniques used in the field of biochemistry. It seeks to provide a concise review on techniques previously studied within the Bologna first cycle, as well as complementary information on more advanced techniques that have significantly contributed to the advancement of knowledge. Also, intends to expose students to current research topics, focusing their efforts in the comprehension of biochemical systems by the use of complementary spectroscopic tools. 

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Pedro António de Brito Tavares, Sofia Rocha Pauleta


Weekly - 5

Total - 74

Teaching language





  1. "Radiation in Bioanalysis: Spectroscopic Techniques and Theoretical Methods", Alice S. Pereira, Pedro Tavares, Paulo Limão-Vieira
    Springer-Nature, Springer Bioanalysis series (16 Nov 2019)
  2. “Physical methods in bioinorganic chemistry: spectroscopy and magnetism.” Lawrence Que, University Science Books, 2000.
  3. “Spectroscopy for the biological sciences.”, Gordon G. Hames, Wiley-Interscience, 2005.
  4. Vários artigos publicados em revistas científicas internacionais.

Teaching method

The contents of the curricular unit will be presented in four class types:

  1. Theoretical classes, illustrated whenever possible with practical cases;
  2. Problem solving classes, designed to train the students in data analysis and enable them to understand how to obtain information from the techniques discussed;
  3. Laboratory classes, for which themes will be given and students will have to develop and execute a protocol related to a case study;
  4. Seminar classes lectured in the format of a scientific meeting and where students will communicate their initial work proposal and present their work in the format of poster and oral communications.

Also, the students will be asked to write a report of their work in the format of a scientific paper.

Evaluation method

Evaluation will include delivery of 5 reports of data analysis (25%) and results (experimental performance and report 45%, communications 30%).

Subject matter

  1. Electronic spectra
    1. Absorption, Ultraviolet and Fluorescence spectra
    2. Fluorescence Energy Transfer and its application to biological systems
  2. Circular Dichroism and Optical Rotatory Dispersion
  3. Vibrational spectroscopy
    1. Infrared spectroscopy
    2. Raman spectroscopy
    3. Resonance Raman spectroscopy
  4. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectroscopy
  5. Mössbauer spectroscopy
  6. Case studies


Programs where the course is taught: