If you are looking for equipment regarding Oxygen Sensing in Singapore, EastWest SVC, a leading provider of lab equipment and application solutions, has the information you need. Learn more about Oxygen sensing, how it works, the equipment involved, and the many applications of this technique.

Oxygen Sensors, sometimes called lambda sensors, is an electronic device that measures the presence and proportion of Oxygen gas (O2) in a given gas or liquid. Oxygen is a highly reactive element and is present in several processes, substances, and systems.

For instance, Oxygen sensors are important components in cars to monitor the abundance of unburned Oxygen in the exhaust as it leaves the engine. The sensors are essential for the system to adjust the air-to-fuel ratio. Knowing this value allows your system to make changes to the fuel mix and ensures that it is running smoothly.

How Do Oxygen Sensors Work?

There are several methods to measure oxygen levels, and each is better suited for a specific application than the other.


Zirconia Oxygen Sensors

Zirconia Oxygen sensors use zirconium dioxide, or zirconia, to detect Oxygen via heat and chemical reactions. A piece of zirconia is coated with a thin layer of porous platinum in order to build a solid-state electrochemical fuel cell. Suppose the two electrodes of the fuel cell produce an output voltage. In that case, this output will correspond to the quantity of Oxygen coming from the test gas compared to that of the present atmosphere.



Typically used to measure Oxygen in ambient air, Electrochemical Oxygen sensors use a self-contained chemical reaction to make their measurements. When Oxygen is detected, the sensor will produce a current proportional to the oxygen level present.

An example of this is the Electro-Galvanic fuel cell which uses the oxidation of lead to measure Oxygen. This can be found in underwater applications such as breathing gas for divers.



Optical oxygen sensors make use of light and its interaction with the element to measure levels. This interaction is called fluorescence quenching. This basically means that when Oxygen is present, the energy from a light source will be absorbed by oxygen molecules resulting in less fluorescence. Thus, the oxygen level is inversely proportional to the decrease in light intensity. This sensor relies on a source of light, a detector and the material for the light to react with.


Clark Electrode

The Clark Electrode oxygen sensor is very common in the medical industry. It will confirm the presence of Oxygen via an electrode in contact with an electrolyte. This is why this sensor is widely used in portable blood monitoring devices.



Infrared oxygen sensors are another very popular type in the medical community. They are used in fingertip oximeters or pulse oximeters. Infrared Oxygen sensors measure through the skin via light. Light pulses are shot into the skin, and a photodiode measures any absorption. The absorption is proportional to the amount of oxygenated haemoglobin in the bloodstream.



As the name suggests, ultrasonic oxygen sensors use sound to measure oxygen levels in either gas or liquid samples. In both cases, there is a change in the speed of the sound waves being propagated that is proportional to the concentration of Oxygen. For liquids, the velocity change between high-frequency and low-frequency sound waves is measured. For gases, the speed of sound will vary depending on the molecular composition of the gas.



Due to the parallel spin of unpaired electrons in its atoms, Oxygen is attracted to strong magnetic fields. In paramagnetic sensors, the test sample is exposed to a magnetic field, and any change in flow rate will be proportional to the presence and abundance of Oxygen.
There are many other methods of sensing Oxygen as many new techniques and technologies are being developed owing to its importance.


Oxygen Sensing And Its Applications

Oxygen sensing is used in a number of applications; some we use day-to-day, others in specific circumstances, while more are done in specialized fields. These include:

  • In the medical field, they are used in blood and glucose testing, anaesthesia and Oxygen ventilators, and breathalyzers.
  • O2 detectors in automobiles
  • Safety triggers such as oxygen depletion alarms
  • Scuba diving equipment
  • Combustion systems, power plants, and incinerators
  • Soil respiration and marine ecosystem research, and so much more.

Oxygen, the most abundant element in the world, will take part and interact with our daily processes. Oxygen sensors are essential equipment that is useful in so many ways that we may not even think of today, such as they are very well worth studying and further exploration.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oxygen Sensing

What Do Oxygen Sensors Do?

Oxygen sensors are primarily used in Oxygen monitoring for a number of applications. These sensors employ a wide array of techniques and methodologies to measure the presence and concentration levels of Oxygen in a given area or test material. These techniques include electrochemical, optics, magnetism, acoustic, and many more.

How Does An Oxygen Sensor Work?

Though Oxygen sensors come in many shapes, sizes, and methodologies, they can be summarized into three main categories: a chemical reaction that produces a current, a change in luminance, and a change in wavelength. In any case, the oxygen level is proportional to the output or change in any of these scenarios.

What Is Fluorescence?

Fluorescence is the phenomenon by which a substance will emit light after absorbing light or being exposed to electromagnetic radiation. In the case of Oxygen, however, it exhibits a behaviour called quenching, whereby the molecules absorb the light energy, thus decreasing fluorescence. This is the basis of optical oxygen sensors.

Where Are Oxygen Sensors Used?

Oxygen sensors are used Oxygen monitoring in many medical, safety and security industries, industrial processes, biology and research, and recreational activities.


What is a Motorized Stage?

Motorized Stage or more commonly known as a motorized linear translation stage is a high precision positioning device used in industrial applications. Often used by scientists,  a motorized stage is used to position the platform heavy loads on stage especially when they are too large. 

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