We have developed a novel colorimetric reagent for the determination of Pb2+, pH, and temperature. This colorimetric reagent consists of a dispersion of approximately 100-microm particles composed of an intelligent polymerized crystalline colloidal array (IPCCA). The IPCCA particles are composed of a hydrogel polymerized around a face-centered cubic (fcc) array of monodisperse, highly charged polystyrene colloidal particles. These IPCCA particles diffract visible light because the (111) planes of the fcc polystyrene colloidal particle array have an approximately 200-nm lattice constant. The IPCCA particles also contain a molecular recognition agent that actuates array volume changes as a result of changes in analyte concentration or temperature. This results in changes in the IPCCA lattice constants, which shifts the wavelength of light diffracted. We report here the use of these sensing materials in a liquid dispersion that can be poured into a sample solution. This diffraction measurement method is analogous to X-ray powder diffraction measurements. The diffraction wavelength is monitored at a defined angle relative to the incident light.