Rhodamine-based probes for metal ion-induced chromo-/fluorogenic dual signaling and their selectivity towards Hg(II) ion

Bamaprasad Bag, Ajoy Pal
Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry 2011 June 21, 9 (12): 4467-80
The new signaling probes 2-6, rhodamine-B derivatives of various receptors which contain different donor atoms for effective metal ion coordination, were synthesized and their absorption as well as fluorescence spectral responses were evaluated in the presence of various metal ions. All these probes along with the reference probe 1 have exhibited optimal metal ion-induced absorption and fluorescence enhancement with Hg(II) ion in the longer wavelength region (>500 nm) in MeCN, exploiting the spectral characteristics of metal ion-induced structural transformation of rhodamine. The selectivity and sensitivity towards Hg(II) ion were better pronounced in MeCN-H(2)O (1 : 1 v/v) medium, implying the role of the solvent molecules, water in particular, in the preferential Hg(II) coordination environment. Complexation of Hg(II) to 1-6 not only enhanced the absorption at ~560 nm, which turned the colourless solution into pink to facilitate a naked eye detection, but also amplified the fluorescence intensity simultaneously to offer high sensitivity of detection at lower concentration. The Hg(II)-induced photo-physical spectral responses of 1-6 in presence of other competitive metal ions rendered their high selectivity towards Hg(II). Further, their reversible dual channel signaling pattern under the action of counter anions, exploiting coordination tendency of anions towards Hg(II), which compete with probe-metal interaction, implied the reversibility in their Hg(II) coordination. The selectivity, sensitivity and reversibility, in principle, establishes the potential of these probes as chemosensors for Hg(II) ion detection.

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