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Flexible Metal-Organic Frameworks for Wavelength-Based Luminescence Sensing of Aqueous pH


Luminescence sensing is commonly based on the change of emission intensity, lifetime, and/or quantum yield of luminescent materials. Wavelength-based luminescence sensing was rarely documented, comparatively. Flexible metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with rich fluorophores are promising sensory materials due to their unique stimuli-responsive luminescence. However, it is still challenging to construct such materials with high hydrolytic stability, which can be utilized in water systems. Here we present two isoreticular flexible MOFs synthesized by carbazole derived ligands, which show high porosity and excellent stability in aqueous solutions with a wide range of pH values. Interestingly, both MOFs show structural breathing behavior upon the variation of guest molecules inside their pores due to the topologically allowed flexibility. With their frameworks breathing, sensitive fluorescence changes in wavelength of the maximum emission have been observed. Remarkably, the wavelengths of maximum emission are well dependent on the pH values (1 to 8) of aqueous solutions in a linear relationship, suggesting a new means of pH sensing based on emission wavelength instead of intensity. The wavelength-based fluorescence sensing thus offers an alternative way for pH indication free of some drawbacks in intensity-based fluorescence sensing, which should be fundamentally important for the development of new pH sensors in environmental and life science.

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Jun 2018, accepted on 04 Sep 2018 and first published on 10 Sep 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8TC03036G
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Flexible Metal-Organic Frameworks for Wavelength-Based Luminescence Sensing of Aqueous pH

    X. Lv, L. Xie, B. Wang, M. Zhao, Y. Cui and J. J. Li, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8TC03036G

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