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New Visible Light Photocatalyst Kills Bacteria, Even After Light Turned Off

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 website.

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