Novel photocatalyst-based colourimetric indicator for oxygen: Use of a platinum catalyst for controlling response times

A. Mills, K. Lawrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The preparation and characterisation of a novel, UV-activated, solvent-based, colourimetric indicator for oxygen is described, comprising a redox dye (methylene blue, MB), semiconductor photocatalyst (Pt-TiO2), and a sacrificial electron donor (SED = glycerol), all dispersed/dissolved in a polymer medium (sulfonated polystyrene. SPS). Upon exposure to UVA light, the Pt-TiO2/MB/glycerol/SPS oxygen indicator is readily photobleached as the MB is converted into its oxygen-sensitive, leuco form, LMB. In contrast to its non-platinised TiO2 counterpart (TiO2/MB/glycerol/SPS oxygen indicator), the recovery of the original colour is faster (ca. 1.5 days cf. 5 days at 21 degrees C). This is due to the catalytic action of the 0.38 wt% platinum loaded onto the semiconductor photocatalyst. TiO2, on the oxidation of the photogenerated LMB by ambient O-2. Furthermore, by increasing the level of platinum loading, recovery times can be decreased further; e.g. a Pt-TiO2/MB/glycerol/SPS oxygen indicator with platinum level of 1.52 wt% recovers fully within 12 h. A study of the kinetics of recovery as a function of film thickness revealed the recovery step is not controlled by the diffusion of O-2 through the film, but instead dependent upon the slow rate of oxidation of LMB to MB by O-2 in the low dielectric polymer encapsulation medium. Other work showed this recovery is only moderately dependant upon temperatures above -10 degrees C and very sensitive to relative humidity above 30% RH. Potential uses of this UV light activated indicator are discussed briefly. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-605, Impact Factor: 4.1
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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