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New imaging method aids in water decontamination

A breakthrough imaging technique developed by National Science Foundation-funded researchers shows promise in decontaminating water by yielding surprising and important information about catalyst particles that can't be obtained any other way. The researchers have developed a method that can image nonfluorescent catalytic reactions -- reactions that don't emit light -- on nanoscale particles. An existing method can image reactions that produce light, but that applies only to a small fraction of reactions, making the new technique potentially significant in fields ranging from materials engineering to nanotechnology and energy sciences. The researchers then demonstrated the technique in observing photoelectrocatalysis -- chemical reactions involving interactions with light -- a key process in environmental remediation. The researchers named their method COMPetition Enabled Imaging Technique with Super-Resolution, or COMPEITS.

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