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A solvent-based intelligence ink for oxygen

Mills, A. and Hazafy, D. (2008) A solvent-based intelligence ink for oxygen. Analyst, 133 (2). pp. 213-218. ISSN 0003-2654

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Abstract

A solvent-based, irreversible oxygen indicator ink is described, comprising semiconductor photocatalyst nanoparticles, a solvent-soluble redox dye, mild reducing agent and polymer. Based on such an ink, a film - made of titanium dioxide, a blue, solvent-soluble, coloured ion-paired methylene blue dye, glycerol and the polymer zein - loses its colour rapidly (<30 s) upon exposure to UVA light and remains colourless in an oxygen-free atmosphere, returning to its original blue colour upon exposure to air. In the latter step the rate of colour recovery is proportional to the level of ambient oxygen and the same film can be UV-activated repeatedly. The mechanism of this novel, UV-activated, solvent-based, colorimetric oxygen indicator is discussed, along with its possible applications.