A reaction-type receptor for the multi-feature detection of Hg2+ in water and living cells
A vital challenge in the design of optical and redox-active receptors is how to couple a specific recognition center with a valid response system aimed to facilitate the multi-feature detections. Herein, we present a reaction-type receptor incorporating ferrocenyl function into rhodamine B fluorophore via a well-defined acylthiourea bridge for the multi-model analysis of Hg2+ in water and living cells. This receptor has been successfully used to efficiently survey Hg2+ in aqueous medium by chromogenic, fluorogenic, and electrochemical assessments with a low detection limit (1.60×10-8 M) and a fast response time (<3 min). Especially, it is also competent to be a fluorescent probe for monitoring Hg2+ in living cells. A plausible sensing mechanism was proposed and rationalized on account of theoretical calculations.