A new approach to oxygen sensing based on the luminescence polarization observed from a novel type of sensor is described. The oxygen sensor consists of an oxygen-sensitive silicone film containing tris(4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline)ruthenium(II) chloride [Ru(dpp)3Cl2] and an oxygen-insensitive film of Styryl 7 in poly(vinyl alcohol). Polarizers are used to select orthogonally polarized emission components from Ru(dpp)3Cl2 and Styryl 7. The polarization of the combined emission was found to be highly sensitive to the partial pressure of oxygen. This method of polarization sensing is generic and can be used with any fluorophore which displays an analyte-dependent change in intensity.