A highly selective fluorescent probe for Cu2+ based on rhodamine B derivative

Junhong Xu, Yimin Hou, Qiujuan Ma, Xuefen Wu, Suxiang Feng, Juan Zhang, Youming Shen
Spectrochimica Acta. Part A, Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 2014 April 24, 124: 416-22
A new fluorescent probe 1 for Cu(2+) based on a rhodamine B derivative was designed and synthesized. Probe 1 displays high sensitivity toward Cu(2+) and about a 37-fold increase in fluorescence emission intensity is observed upon the addition of 10 equiv. Cu(2+) in 50% water/ethanol buffered at pH 7.10. Besides, upon binding Cu(2+) a remarkable color change from colorless to pink was easily observed by the naked eyes. The reversible dual chromo- and fluorogenic response toward Cu(2+) is likely due to the chelation-induced ring-opening of rhodamine spirolactam. The linear response range covers a concentration range of Cu(2+) from 8.0×10(-7) to 1.0×10(-4) mol/L and the detection limit is 3.0×10(-7) mol/L. Except Co(2+), the probe exhibits high selectivity for Cu(2+) over a large number of cations such as alkaline, alkaline earth and transitional metal ions. The accuracy and precision of the method were evaluated by the analysis of the standard reference material, copper in water (1.0 mol/L HNO3). The proposed probe has been used for direct measurement of Cu(2+) content in river water samples and imaging of Cu(2+) in living cells with satisfying results, which further demonstrates its value of practical applications in environmental and biological systems.

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