Quick, accurate water detection possible

Aug 30, 2006

Scientists at Israel's Weizmann Institute say they've developed a method of water detection and measurement that's both rapid and accurate.

Water occurring in fuels and lubricants can cause motors to sputter, metal parts to rust, or chemical reactions to go awry. Existing industrial water tests are complicated and time-consuming.

The technique was developed in the Weizmann lab of Milko van der Boom. He and postdoctoral fellow Tarkeshwar Gupta created a versatile film on glass that is only 1.7 nanometers thick.

The film can measure the number of water molecules in a substance even when it contains only a few parts per million. In the sensor, metal complexes embedded in the film steal electrons from the water molecules.

When the number of electrons in the metal complexes changes, so does their color, and that change can be read optically. The test can be conducted in as little as five minutes, and the molecular film can be returned to its original state by washing it with a simple chemical.

The researchers are exploring the possibility of adapting the method to testing for trace amounts of such substances as metal ions or gasses.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Nanoscience makes your wine better

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Graphene paints a corrosion-free future

Sep 11, 2014

The surface of graphene, a one atom thick sheet of carbon, can be randomly decorated with oxygen to create graphene oxide; a form of graphene that could have a significant impact on the chemical, pharmaceutical ...

Studying fracking's effects, up close and personal

Sep 05, 2014

Ten years ago, hydraulic fracturing barely existed. Today 45,000 fracked wells produce natural gas, providing energy for millions of homes and businesses, and nearly a quarter of the nation's electricity. ...

Recommended for you

Nanoscience makes your wine better

32 minutes ago

One sip of a perfectly poured glass of wine leads to an explosion of flavours in your mouth. Researchers at Aarhus University, Denmark, have now developed a nanosensor that can mimic what happens in your ...

Fly ash builds green cement mixture

50 minutes ago

An eco-friendly cement, known as Alkali Pozzolan Cement (APC), containing a mixture of fly ash, dry lime powder and sodium sulphate under specific scaffolding conditions has been developed by Curtin University ...

User comments : 0