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Conjugated molecules for colourimetric and fluorimetric sensing of sodium and potassium

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Abstract

We present a series of conjugated molecules for colourimetric and fluorimetric sensing of alkali metal cations Na+ and K+. The dye molecules are based on an electron-rich bithiophene core bridged by an oligoethylene glycol bridge capable of selectively binding either sodium or potassium. The molecules are further functionalised with electron-rich or electron-deficient moieties to modulate the band gap and thus shift the absorbance across the visible range. We observe distinct colour changes and high selectivity for alkali metal cations at millimolar concentrations. We moreover see highly selective fluorimetric responses with the molecules exhibiting either turn-on, turn-off or ratiometric sensing behaviour. We finally demonstrate a dual optical sensor capable of distinguishing between sodium and potassium in solution.

Graphical abstract: Conjugated molecules for colourimetric and fluorimetric sensing of sodium and potassium

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Article information


Submitted
16 Mar 2020
Accepted
11 May 2020
First published
25 Jun 2020

This article is Open Access

Mater. Chem. Front., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Research Article

Conjugated molecules for colourimetric and fluorimetric sensing of sodium and potassium

Z. S. Parr and C. B. Nielsen, Mater. Chem. Front., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0QM00157K

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