Researchers from AMOLF have used perovskite semiconductors to develop a simple spray test to detect the presence of lead. A lead-containing surface shines bright green when it is sprayed with the test, which is said to be a 1,000 times more sensitive than existing tests and the researchers found no false positive or false negative results.
"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. "It is a really cool project and it is quite rare for fundamental research to literally impact the entire world with an application."