This new sensor is ‘1M times’ more sensitive in detecting lead in water

February 6, 2024 | by

Experimental setup of the device detecting lead ions in a drop of water.

A new type of ultra-sensitive sensor has been made to detect incredibly low levels of lead ions in water. This advanced sensor may pave the way for developing next-generation water quality monitoring systems. 

What distinguishes the sensor is its capacity to detect lead ions at concentrations as low as one femtomole per liter of water, demonstrating an incredibly high degree of sensitivity.

According to the University of California, San Diego experts, this range is “one million times” more sensitive than any known sensing technologies for water contamination monitoring. 

“With the extremely high sensitivity of our device, we ultimately hope to detect even the presence of one lead ion in a reasonable volume of water,” said Prabhakar Bandaru, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. 


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