A naphthalimide-based bifunctional fluorescent probe for the differential detection of Hg2+ and Cu2+ in aqueous solution
A novel fluorescent probe NPM based on naphthalimide was designed and synthesized. Interestingly, NPM exhibited highly selective fluorescence turn-on for Hg2+ and turn-off for Cu2+ in aqueous solution (10 mM HEPES, pH 7.5). Its fluorescence intensity enhanced in a linear fashion with the concentration of Hg2+ and decreased in a nearly linear fashion with the concentration of Cu2+. Thus NPM could be potentially used for the quantification of Hg2+ and Cu2+ in aqueous solution. A series of model compounds were rationally designed and synthesized in order to explore the sensing mechanisms and binding modes of NPM with Hg2+ and Cu2+.