Rationally introduce multi-competitive binding interactions in supramolecular gels: a simple and efficient approach to develop multi-analyte sensor array†
Sensor arrays are a powerful tool for multianalyte sensing and the development of an efficient sensor array has become one of the most intriguing problems. However, sensor arrays often employ lots of receptors which need large amounts of work to synthesise. This study describes an efficient method for the fabrication of a simple sensor array based on the competitive binding in supramolecular gels. By rationally introducing various well-designed competitive binding interactions into the supramolecular gel, which is self-assembled from a naphthylhydrazone-based organogelator, a supramolecular gel-based twenty-two-member sensor array has been created. Interestingly, the sensor array has been shown to accurately identify fourteen kinds of important ions (F−, Cl−, I−, CN−, HSO4−, SCN−, S2−, OH−, Al3+, Fe3+, Zn2+, Hg2+, Pb2+ and H+) in water. It's important to note that this sensor array needs only one synthesized receptor. Moreover, using this method, we also obtained a series of ion response fluorescent supramolecular materials, which could act as security display materials. Therefore, it's a novel and facile way for the design of a simple sensor array as well as ion response fluorescent supramolecular materials.