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Issue 70, 2012
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Spectroscopic probes with changeable π-conjugated systems

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Spectroscopic probes have been extensively investigated and used widely in many fields because of their powerful ability to improve analytical sensitivity, and to offer greater temporal and spatial resolution (in some cases a molecule event may be visualized by the naked eye). So far, different photophysical mechanisms, such as charge transfer, photo-induced electron transfer and fluorescent resonance energy transfer, have been employed to develop various spectroscopic probes with superior properties. However, these photophysical mechanisms depend on the energy levels of molecular orbitals, which are usually difficult to accurately determine. This would lead to the poor prediction of analytical performance of the designed probe. Instead, the change of π-conjugated systems induced by chemical reactions is often accompanied by a distinct alteration in spectroscopic signal, which is more predictable and is of high signal/background ratio. This mechanism can serve as an effective measure for developing excellent spectroscopic probes, but to our knowledge, has not been systematically summarized. In this feature article, we review the development of spectroscopic probes with changeable π-conjugated systems, which is catalogued according to the fluorochromes: fluorescein, rhodamine, spiropyran, squaraine, coumarin, cyanine, etc. Two main strategies for constructing these spectroscopic probes, including ring-closing reaction and nucleophilic addition reaction, are summarized, and the merits and limitations of the probes are discussed.

Graphical abstract: Spectroscopic probes with changeable π-conjugated systems

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 May 2012, accepted on 21 Jun 2012 and first published on 21 Jun 2012

Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2CC33366J
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2012,48, 8732-8744

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    Spectroscopic probes with changeable π-conjugated systems

    W. Shi and H. Ma, Chem. Commun., 2012, 48, 8732
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CC33366J

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