A bi-component supramolecular gel for selective fluorescence detection and removal of Hg2+ in water†
A bi-component supramolecular gel (RQ) was successfully constructed by the assembly of the gelators 4-aminophenyl functionalized naphthalimide derivative (R) and tri-(pyridine-4-yl)-functionalized trimesic amide (Q) in DMSO–H2O (6.1 : 3.9, v/v) binary solution. The gel RQ exhibits excellent self-healing capacity. Interestingly, the RQ could fluorescently detect and reversibly remove Hg2+ from water through cation–π interactions with high selectivity, efficient adsorption and quick response. The limit of lowest detection (LOD) of the RQ for Hg2+ is 4.52 × 10−8 M and the separation ratio is 91.14%. Moreover, the RQ could be efficiently recycled and regenerated with little loss via a simple treatment by I−. Notably, thin films based on RQ and RQ + Hg2+ were prepared, which could serve as convenient and efficient test tools for the detection of Hg2+ and I−, respectively. This work provided an efficient method and novel supramolecular gel material for the separation and detection of Hg2+.