Kill Bacteria


Scientists improved a catalyst that strikes at microbes under visible light by adding palladium nanoparticles to it. They had previously created a nitrogen-doped catalyst of titanium oxide matrix. When sunlight strikes it, excited electrons get out of the matrix leaving holes. The holes react with (contaminated) water, making it release hydroxyl radicals that kill the germs. The concept worked but with nothing to stop the electrons from sinking back into the holes, the catalyst lacked efficiency. Addition of the palladium nanoparticles helped rectify that.


Down To Earth, February 2010