Over the past few decades, coherent broadband spectroscopy has been widely used to improve our understanding of ultrafast processes (e.g., photoinduced electron transfer, proton transfer, and proton-coupled electron transfer reactions) at femtosecond resolution. The advances in femtosecond laser technology along with the development of nonlinear multidimensional spectroscopy enabled further insights into ultrafast energy transfer and carrier relaxation processes in complex biological and material systems. New discoveries and interpretations have led to improved design principles for optimizing the photophysical properties of various artificial systems. In this review, we first provide a detailed theoretical framework of both coherent broadband and two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2DES). We then discuss a selection of experimental approaches and considerations of 2DES along with best practices for data processing and analysis. Finally, we review several examples where coherent broadband and 2DES were employed to reveal mechanisms of photoinitiated ultrafast processes in molecular, biological, and material systems. We end the review with a brief perspective on the future of the experimental techniques themselves and their potential to answer an even greater range of scientific questions.
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