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Langmuir. 2006 Sep 26;22(20):8602-6.

Photophysical behavior of terpyridine-lanthanide ion complexes incorporated in a poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) hydrogel.

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University of Patras, Engineering Science Department, 26500 Patras, Greece.


Poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) hydrogel forms complexes with terpyridine and various trivalent ions, like Eu(3+), Tb(3+), Gd(3+), and In(3+). The hydrogel can be obtained in three different phases: swollen with water, lyophilized (i.e., dried by freeze-drying), where it loses the solvent but preserves the swollen configuration, and dried in the air where it shrinks. The three hydrogel phases affect the type of complex formed between terpyridine and the metal ion. Thus, in the swollen and lyophilized phases, metal-centered emission can be obtained by energy transfer from the excited ligand. In the shrunk phase, an intense green fluorescence is emitted, which is ligand-centered and is independent of the complexed ion. In the absence of any ion, the ligand emits blue luminescence, independently of the hydrogel phase. In the presence of europium(III) ions, blue, green, or red emission can be thus produced at appropriate compositions and hydrogel phases. Analysis of the photophysical behavior of the polymer-ligand-metal ion complex is related with the photophysical behavior of the ligand and its complexes in various pure solvents.

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