Beta-carotene This page summarizes the optical absorption and emission data of Beta-carotene that is available in the PhotochemCAD package, version 2.1a (Du 1998, Dixon 2005). I reworked their data to produce these interactive graphs and to provide direct links to text files containing the raw and manipulated data. Although I have tried to be careful, I may have introduced some errors; the cautious user is advised to compare these results with the original sources.

You can resize any of the graphs by clicking and dragging a rectangle. If you hover the mouse over the graph, you will see a pop-up showing the coordinates. One of the icons in the upper right corner will let you export the graph in other formats.


This optical absorption measurement of Beta-carotene were made by R.-C. A. Fuh in the summer of 1995 using a Cary 3. The absorption values were collected using a spectral bandwidth of 1.0 nm, a signal averaging time of 0.133 sec, a data interval of 0.25 nm, and a scan rate of 112.5 nm/min.

These measurements were scaled to make the molar extinction coefficient match the value of 139,500cm-1/M at 451.0nm (Zechmeister, 1943; Zechmeister, 1962).

Original Data | Extinction Data


The fluorescence yield of beta-carotene has been estimated to be <0.0001 (Dallinger, 1981; Tric, 1970). Accordingly, a fluorescence spectrum was not collected.


Dallinger, R. F., W. H. Woodruff and M. A. J. Rodgers (1981) The lifetime of the excited singlet state of b-carotene: Consequences to photosynthetic light harvesting. Photochem. Photobiol. 33, 275-277.

Dixon, J. M., M. Taniguchi and J. S. Lindsey (2005), "PhotochemCAD 2. A Refined Program with Accompanying Spectral Databases for Photochemical Calculations, Photochem. Photobiol., 81, 212-213.

Du, H., R.-C. A. Fuh, J. Li, L. A. Corkan and J. S. Lindsey (1998) PhotochemCAD: A computer-aided design and research tool in photochemistry. Photochem. Photobiol. 68, 141-142.

Tric, C. and V. Lejeune (1970) Les carotenes fluorescent-ils? Photochem. Photobiol. 12, 339-343.

Zechmeister, L. and A. Polgar (1943) cis-trans Isomerization and spectral characteristics of carotenoids and some related compounds. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 65, 1522-1528.

Zechmeister, L. (1962) cis-trans Isomeric carotenoids vitamins A and arylpolyenes. Springer-Verlag, Vienna, Austria.