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Reported herein is the detection of highly toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) via proximity-induced non-covalent energy transfer. This energy transfer occurs in the cavity of γ-cyclodextrin, and is efficient even with the most toxic PAHs and least fluorescent PCBs. The low limits of detection and potential for selective detection using array-based systems, combined with the straightforward experimental setup, make this new detection method particularly promising.



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