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The synthesis and characterisation of two new cyclen-based near IR-emitting lanthanide complexes is reported; the lanthanides are sensitised by rhodamine, which in turn is excited by energy transfer from a coumarin 2 moiety. The three lumophores function as an energy transfer cascade spanning the UV-visible-near IR region of the spectrum, resulting in large Stokes shifts. Double stranded DNA selectively switches one of the two energy transfer processes off, enabling luminescent DNA-sensing in the near IR region. The regioselective di-alkylation of the cyclen scaffold is explained with the help of DFT calculations.
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