An unusual OFF–ON fluorescence sensor for detecting mercury ions in aqueous media and living cells†
A novel azo derivative sensor (BDAA) based on alkynes was designed and utilized to direct detection of Hg2+ in aqueous solution and living cells. The new strategy achieved off to on switchable fluorescence. BDAA permits the highly selective and sensitive detection of Hg2+. This sensor can be used for imaging of Hg2+ in living cells.