Reusable and specific proton transfer signalling by inorganic cyanide in solution and solid phase†
A highly specific cyanide mediated proton transfer signalling (PTS) is exhibited by a simple diaminomalenonitrile (DAMN) derivative 1. By virtue of the functional groups on it, the chromophore offered a rigid anchoring on a silica surface via a simple dip method, while retaining the recognition behaviour. The PTS triggered a prompt dual-modal display i.e., chromogenic and fluorogenic. The signal readout can be visualized even in micromolar concentrations. It is noteworthy that PTS can be reversed in both solution and solid phases. The remarkable sensitivity of 1 to detect CN− from the solution and solid phase envisages a pivotal step towards field-usable sensing.