Lanthanide appended rotaxanes respond to changing chloride concentration†
Lanthanide appended rotaxanes have been prepared by the CuAAC ‘click’ reaction between an azide appended rotaxane and lanthanide complexes of propargyl DO3A. The resulting complexes are luminescent, and exhibit chloride responsive luminescence behavior consistent with the existence of two independent halide binding pockets, one in the rotaxane cavity and one on the ninth (axial) coordination site of the lanthanide. Strong halide binding to europium gives rise to changes in the relative intensity of the hypersensitive ΔJ = 2 transition compared to the rest of the europium emission spectrum, combined with quenching of the overall intensity of emission as a consequence of non-radiative quenching by the bound halide. The weaker interaction with the rotaxane pocket mediates a subsequent recovery of intensity of the europium centered luminescence despite the considerable separation between the lanthanide and the rotaxane binding pocket.