Lead testing in the field

AMOLF researchers have used the special properties of perovskite semiconductors to develop a simple spray test to demonstrate the presence of lead. Perovskite is a material suitable for use in LEDs and solar cells, for example.

Revolutionary Lead Detection with Perovskite Semiconductors

A lead-containing surface shines bright green when it is sprayed with the test. This test is 1000 times more sensitive than existing tests and the researchers found no false positive or false negative results. The study was published on November 27th in the scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“It is a really cool project and it is quite rare for fundamental research to literally impact the entire world with an application.”

“We have hijacked the technology of perovskite semiconductors and used it in a widely deployable lead test. Nobody in this discipline had ever thought of that,” says Lukas Helmbrecht, researcher at the group Self-Organizing Matter led by Wim Noorduin at AMOLF. “We are very pleased with these results,” says Noorduin.

Read the full article on amolf.nl

Paint - lead

Although the global ban on leaded gasoline has markedly reduced lead poisoning, many other environmental sources of lead exposure, such as paint, pipes, mines, and recycling sites remain.

Existing methods to identify these sources are either costly or unreliable. We report here a new, sensitive, and inexpensive lead detection method that relies on the formation of a perovskite semiconductor. The method only requires spraying the material of interest with methylammonium bromide and observing whether photoluminesence occurs under UV light to indicate the presence of lead. The method detects as little as 1.0 ng/mm2 of lead by the naked eye and 50 pg/mm2 using a digital photo camera. We exposed more than 50 different materials to our reagent and found no false negatives or false positives. The method readily detects lead in soil, paint, glazing, cables, glass, plastics, and dust and could be widely used for testing the environment and preventing lead poisoning.

Read the full article on pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Lead contamination and exposure can cause “ profound and permanent ” impacts, including brain damage in children, and increased risk of kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, and miscarriage, according to the World Health Organization.

Lead Detection Breakthrough: Green Fluorescent Light with Spray-on Detector

While known contamination is relatively easy to mitigate, the detection itself can be a tricky proposition. Standard methods can only detect lead if it’s isolated and concentrated first.

Now, researchers at Amolf, a research institute dedicated to studying the physics of matter, have developed a spray-on reagent that signals the presence of even tiny amounts of lead by lighting up fluorescent green under a UV light within seconds. Comprised of methyl ammonium bromide in isopropanol, it reacts with lead to form a photoluminescent lead bromide perovskite (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2023, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.3c06058) .


Read the full article on cen.acs.org

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Over de aflevering
Deze week werden de winnaars van de Amsterdam Science Innovation Award bekend gemaakt. Eén van de kanshebbers is Lukas Helmbrecht, van de UvA en AMOLF. Hij heeft iets ontwikkeld waarmee loodvervuiling heel makkelijk en goedkoop gedetecteerd kan worden.

We bespreken hoe groot het probleem met loodvervuiling is en welke oplossing hij onder de naam Lumetallix heeft ontwikkeld.

Lees hier meer over de Amsterdam Science Innovation Award

Luister de volledige aflevering op bnr.nl of luister hier: