Visible-light sensitized luminescent europium(iii)-β-diketonate complexes: bioprobes for cellular imaging
Visible-light sensitized luminescent europium(III) molecular materials are of considerable importance because their outstanding photophysical properties make them well suited as labels in fluorescence-based bioassays and low-voltage driven pure red-emitters in optoelectronic technology. One challenge in this field is development of visible-light sensitizing ligands that can form highly emissive europium(III) complexes with sufficient stability and aqueous solubility for practical applications. Indeed, some of the recent reports have demonstrated that the excitation-window can be shifted to longer-wavelengths in europium(III)-β-diketonate complexes by appropriate molecular engineering and suitably expanded π-conjugation in the complex molecules. In this review, attention is focused on the latest innovations in the syntheses and photophysical properties of visible-light sensitized europium(III)-β-diketonate complexes and their application as bioprobes for cellular imaging. Furthermore, luminescent nanomaterials derived from long-wavelength sensitized europium(III)-β-diketonate complexes and their application in life sciences are also highlighted.