Sensing exposure time to oxygen by applying a percolation-induced principle

Noa Afik, Omri Yadgar, Anastasiya Volison-Klimentiev, Sivan Peretz-Damari, Avia Ohayon-Lavi, Amr Alatawna, Gal Yosefi, Ronit Bitton, Naomi Fuchs, Oren Regev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The determination of food freshness along manufacturer-to-consumer transportation lines is a challenging problem that calls for cheap, simple, reliable, and nontoxic sensors inside food packaging. We present a novel approach for oxygen sensing in which the exposure time to oxygen— rather than the oxygen concentration per se—is monitored. We developed a nontoxic hybrid composite-based sensor consisting of graphite powder (conductive filler), clay (viscosity control filler) and linseed oil (the matrix). Upon exposure to oxygen, the insulating linseed oil is oxidized, leading to polymerization and shrinkage of the matrix and hence to an increase in the concentration of the electrically conductive graphite powder up to percolation, which serves as an indicator of food spoilage. In the developed sensor, the exposure time to oxygen (days to weeks) is obtained by measuring the electrical conductivity though the sensor. The sensor functionality could be tuned by changing the oil viscosity, the aspect ratio of the conductive filler, and/or the concentration of the clay, thereby adapting the sensor to monitoring the quality of food products with different sensitivities to oxygen exposure time (e.g., fish vs grain).

Original languageEnglish
Article number4465
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number16
StatePublished - 2 Aug 2020


  • Clay
  • Hybrid composite
  • Irreversible sensor
  • Linseed oil
  • Oxygen sensor
  • Time sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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