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Org Lett. 2000 Jul 27;2(15):2311-3.

Berberine cation: A fluorescent chemosensor for alkanes and other low-polarity compounds. An explanation of this phenomenon

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Kimika Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, P.K. 1072, 20080 San Sebastian-Donostia, Spain, Instituto de Carboquimica, CSIC, Maria de Luna, 12, 500015 Zaragoza, Spain, and Grupo de Espectroscopia Analitica y Sensores, Departa.


Alkanes in the presence of berberine sulfate provide an enhancement of fluorescent signal, which depends on alkane concentration and structure, when the system is irradiated with monochromatic UV light. Computational analysis suggests that an ion-induced dipole between alkanes and berberine sulfate is responsible for this phenomenon. This interaction can properly model the experimentally obtained fluorescent response. The proposed explanation allows other interacting systems to be designed, which have been experimentally confirmed.

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