Watching single nanoparticles at work

Watching single nanoparticles at work – By shining laser light on the modified tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM), researchers in Germany and the Netherlands have been able to watch a catalytic reaction in real time, zoomed right in to the nanoscale. The technique combines AFM with Raman spectroscopy, using the silver-coated AFM tip to boost the reaction’s Raman signal while also acting as the catalyst. Using this hybrid approach, the researchers could follow the catalytic conversion of reactants into products with a spatial resolution of just a few nanometres.(10.1038/NNANO.2012.131)

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