Exploitation of a 1D coordination polymer as a portable kit for an eye-catching fluorometric response towards sensing of trivalent cations†
The development and utilization of coordination polymers (CPs) have drawn interest for potential applications in different fields. Detection of metal ions in efficient and selective manners is an important field of research. It paves the way to protect human health by balancing toxic metal ions and biologically active metal ions in the atmosphere. In this regard, a new one-dimensional (1D) 4-(1-naphthylvinyl)pyridine (4-nvp) based CP [Cd(NCS)2(4-nvp)2]n (1) was synthesized and characterized structurally by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Interestingly, this 1D CP underwent supramolecular aggregation via π⋯π stacking interactions, which specifically generated an environment for a potent “turn on” response in the presence of trivalent cations (Fe3+, Al3+, and Cr3+) in the nanomolar range but remained silent in the presence of other metal ions. Density functional theory (DFT) computations and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were performed to establish the sensing phenomena. Fascinatingly, utilizing the sensitivity of 1 in an aqueous medium, a hands-on portable cotton swab kit was developed for instant identification of these three important trivalent metal cations.