Take Lead Iodide. It’s often used in solar cell manufacture plus it had an unfortunate run as a highly toxic ingredient in yellow paint. Roza Dimeska, a technical officer in the teaching laboratories, thinks it deserves more of the spotlight.
She’s made and donated a flask of what’s commonly called “Golden Rain” (insert jokes here). To make it, you mix two colourless liquids together and a solid, yellow powder forms. To get the golden colour, this yellow powder is heated up and dissolved once more. Then the crystals are literally shocked into forming by cooling them down super quickly. Think of stepping into a cold shower when you’re not expecting it – that’s kind of how the crystals feel!
The solid lead iodide Roza made seem to glitter in the light because they forms tiny crystals with reflective surfaces.
Here’s Golden Rain in action over in the Chemistry labs in building 41!
When you visit us at Science Space, ask one of our staff members to shake the flask for you – it’s well worth it!