The potential applications of luminescent semiconductor nanocrystals to optical oxygen sensing are explored. The suitability of quantum dots to provide a reference signal in luminescence-based chemical sensors is addressed. A CdSe–ZnS nanocrystal, with an emission peak at , is used to provide a reference signal. Measurements of oxygen concentration, which are based on the dynamic quenching of the luminescence of a ruthenium complex, are performed. Both the dye and the nanocrystal are immobilized in a solgel matrix and are excited by a blue LED. Experimental results show that the ratio between the reference and the sensor signals is highly insensitive to fluctuations of the excitation optical power. The use of CdTe, near-infrared quantum dots with an emission wavelength of , in combination with a ruthenium complex to provide a new mechanism for oxygen sensing, is investigated. The possibility of creating oxygen sensitivity in different spectral regions is demonstrated. The results obtained clearly show that this technique can be applied to develop a wavelength division multiplexed system of oxygen sensors.
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