A highly selective chemodosimeter for fast detection and intracellular imaging of Hg2+ ions based on a dithiocarbamate–isothiocyanate conversion in aqueous ethanol
A new naphthalene diimide–dithiocarbamate based fluorescence probe was synthesized and its fluorogenic behavior towards various metal ions was studied. Upon addition of various metal ions, the probe afforded an irreversible change only with Hg2+ ions in aqueous-ethanol media (4:1 v/v) with a fourfold enhancement of the fluorescence (Φ = 0.03 → 0.11) along with a distinct 43 nm blue shift of the emission maxima. The mechanism of the chemodosimetric behavior of the probe has been attributed to a Hg2+ induced transformation of a weakly fluorescent dithiocarbamate to a highly fluorescent isothiocyanate which has been characterized by a number of spectroscopic techniques and a crystal structure. Intracellular detection of Hg2+ ions was achieved using the probe.