Multifunctional anthraquinone-based sensors: UV, O2and time

Surachai Khankaew, Andrew Mills, Dilidaer Yusufu, Nathan Wells, Stephanie Hodgen, Waraporn Boonsupthip, Panuwat Suppakul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
221 Downloads (Pure)


An anthraquinone dye, Remazol brilliant blue R, RBBR, is used to create an indicator which can function as: (i) a UV dosimeter, (ii) an O2 indicator and (iii) a ‘Consume within’ indicator, CWI, for fresh, refrigerated foods. The dye is encapsulated in an ink containing a polymer, glycerol and a UV-activated semiconductor photocatalyst, titanium dioxide. When cast as a film, the dye is readily reduced by the TiO2 photocatalyst nanoparticles, thereby changing the colour of the film from blue to yellow, via a transitional green colour. The RBBR indicator is appropriately formulated, and covered with a film of Sellotape, which acts as an O2 barrier, so as to act as a sunburn warning indicator for people with skin type II. In the absence of the layer of Sellotape the RBBR indicator is used as an, albeit slow, sensor for measuring ambient levels of O2. Finally, by keeping the Sellotape layer, a UV-activated, yellow-coloured, RBBR indicator film is found to take ca. 42 h at 5 °C in ambient air to attain a green colour, and, on this basis, it is demonstrated as a possible CWI for refrigerated fresh foods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
Early online date14 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


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