- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
|Jian Ku Shang, a professor of materials science and engineering, holds a sample of a new photocatalytic material that uses visible light to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses, even in the dark.|
In the battle against bacteria, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a powerful new weapon - an enhanced photocatalytic disinfection process that uses visible light to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses, even in the dark.
Based upon a new catalyst, the disinfection process can be used to purify drinking water, sanitize surgical instruments and remove unwanted fingerprints from delicate electrical and optical components.
"The new catalyst also has a unique catalytic memory effect that continues to kill deadly pathogens for up to 24 hours after the light is turned off," said Jian Ku Shang, a professor of materials science and engineering at the U. of I.
Shang is corresponding author of a paper that is scheduled to appear in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, and posted on the journal's Web site.
Shang's research group had previously developed a catalytic material that worked with visible light, instead of the ultraviolet light required by other catalysts. This advance, which was made by doping a titanium-oxide matrix with nitrogen, meant the disinfection process could be activated with sunlight or with standard indoor lighting.
"When visible light strikes this catalyst, electron-hole pairs are produced in the matrix," Shang said. "Many of these electrons and holes quickly recombine, however, severely limiting the effectiveness of the catalyst."
To improve the efficiency of the catalyst, Shang and collaborators at the U. of I. and at the Chinese Academy of Sciences added palladium nanoparticles to the matrix. The palladium nanoparticles trap the electrons, allowing the holes to react with water to produce oxidizing agents, primarily hydroxyl radicals, which kill bacteria and viruses.
When the light is turned off, the palladium nanoparticles slowly release the trapped electrons, which can then react with water to produce additional oxidizing agents.
"In a sense, the material remembers that it was radiated with light," Shang said. "This ‘memory effect' can last up to 24 hours."
Although the disinfection efficiency in the dark is not as high as it is in visible light, it enables the continuous operation of a unique, robust catalytic disinfection system driven by solar or other visible light illumination.
In addition to environmental applications, the new catalyst could also be used to remove messy, oily fingerprints from optical surfaces, computer displays and cellphone screens, Shang said.
The work was supported by the National Science Foundation through the Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems at the U. of I. Some of the work was performed at the U. of I.'s Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, which is partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Editor's note: To contact Jian Ku Shang, call 217-333-9268 or e-mail
For more information, please click here
James E. Kloeppel
Physical Sciences Editor
Copyright © University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIf you have a comment, please Contact us.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
News and information
Chains of nanogold – forged with atomic precision September 23rd, 2016
Carbon-coated iron catalyst structure could lead to more-active fuel cells September 15th, 2016
Researchers build world's largest database of crystal surfaces and shapes September 14th, 2016
Particle Works launches range of high quality magnetic nanoparticles August 31st, 2016
Abalonyx launches Reduced Graphene Oxide Product: Abalonyx has successfully scaled up production of thermally reduced graphene oxide (rGO) in its Tofte, Norway, production facility. This product is now offered to customers in Kg-quantities May 10th, 2016
New Generation of Graphene Reinforced Carbon Fibre Prepreg Products March 14th, 2016
Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016
Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers
Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016
Coffee-infused foam removes lead from contaminated water September 21st, 2016
Mathematical nanotoxicoproteomics: Quantitative characterization of effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes: This research article by Dr. Subhash Basak et al. will be published in Current Computer-Aided Drug Design, Volume 12, 2016 September 2nd, 2016
Nanofur for oil spill cleanup: Materials researchers learn from aquatic ferns: Hairy plant leaves are highly oil-absorbing / publication in bioinspiration & biomimetics / video on absorption capacity August 25th, 2016
Researchers watch catalysts at work August 19th, 2016
Oxford Instruments systems now facilitate water purification technology September 27th, 2016
Atomic scale pipes available on demand and by design September 9th, 2016