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Chem Asian J. 2012 Dec;7(12):2805-12. doi: 10.1002/asia.201200565. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

A chemodosimetric probe based on a conjugated oxidized bis-indolyl system for selective naked-eye sensing of cyanide ions in water.

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  • 1Department of Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 1, India.


A new bis-indolyl-based colorimetric probe has been synthesized. This allows a Michael-type adduct formation for the detection of cyanide ions. The probe shows a remarkable color change from red to colorless upon addition of the cyanide ions in pure water. The cyanide ion reacts with the probe and removes the conjugation of the bis-indolyl moiety of the probe with that of the 4-substituted aromatic ring. This renders the probe colorless. The mechanism of the reaction of the probe with the cyanide ion was established by using (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and kinetic studies.

Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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