Tuning the reaction rates of fluoride probes for detection in aqueous solution†
Fluoride detection in aqueous solution has drawn much attention. Most fluoride probes are based on the cleavage of a silyl group by fluoride for the generation of fluorescence. However, such a reaction is generally slow in aqueous solution. Herein we successfully demonstrate the concept that increasing the hydrophilicity of a pendent group enhances the reactivity of a silyl-based probe for fluoride detection in aqueous solution. By applying this concept, we also developed a new probe with a pendent PEG unit (BW-F-204), which showed excellent fluoride sensing ability both in aqueous solution and in cell culture.