A ground-breaking imaging technique created by researchers offers hope for cleaning up water by providing unexpected and crucial data about catalyst particles that can’t be obtained in any other manner.
They have created a technique to capture images of catalytic nonfluorescent reactions, or processes that don’t produce light, on nanoscale particles. The new technique could be important in various disciplines, from materials engineering to nanotechnology and energy sciences, since an existing method can only image a tiny portion of reactions that produce light.
The method was then put to use by the researchers to observe photoelectrocatalysis, a crucial step in environmental remediation that involves chemical reactions involving interactions with light.
The researcher found the imaging technique was very straightforward—both to use and carry out. It makes it possible to visualize a virtually infinite number of responses.
When a catalyst, like a solid particle, speeds up a molecular change, a catalytic process takes place. Researchers can learn the ideal size and shape for the most efficient catalyst particles by imaging these reactions at the nanoscale as they occur with the new method.
In the study, the researchers used a novel imaging technique to observe the oxidation of the water micropollutant hydroquinone on bismuth vanadate catalyst particles. They discovered previously unrecognized catalyst behaviors that assisted in making hydroquinone nontoxic.
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