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Anal Chem. 2014 May 20;86(10):4648-52. doi: 10.1021/ac501024d. Epub 2014 May 9.

Ratiometric fluorescent/colorimetric cyanide-selective sensor based on excited-state intramolecular charge transfer-excited-state intramolecular proton transfer switching.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Feng Chia University , 40724 Taichung, Taiwan ROC.


A novel salicylideneaniline-based fluorescent sensor, SB1, with a unique excited-state intramolecular charge transfer-excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESICT-ESIPT) coupled system was synthesized and demonstrated to fluorescently sense CN(-) with specific selectivity and high sensitivity in aqueous media based on ESICT-ESIPT switching. A large blue shift (96 nm) was also observed in the absorption spectra in response to CN(-). The bleaching of the color could be clearly observed by the naked eye. Moreover, SB1-based test strips were easily fabricated and low-cost, and could be used in practical and efficient CN(-) test kits. Density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT) calculations further support the cyanide-induced ESICT-ESIPT switching mechanism. The results provide the proof of concept that the colorimetric and ratiometric fluorescent cyanide-selective chemodosimeter can be created based on an ESICT-ESIPT coupled system.

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