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J Phys Chem B. 2010 Jul 22;114(28):9313-21. doi: 10.1021/jp104450m.

Fluorene-based metal-ion sensing probe with high sensitivity to Zn2+ and efficient two-photon absorption.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816, USA.


The photophysical, photochemical, two-photon absorption (2PA) and metal ion sensing properties of a new fluorene derivative (E)-1-(7-(4-(benzo[d]thiazol-2-yl)styryl)-9,9-bis(2-(2-ethoxyethoxy)ethyl)-9H-fluoren-2-yl)-3-(2-(9,10,16,17,18,19,21,22,23,24-decahydro-6H dibenzo[h,s][1,4,7,11,14,17]trioxatriazacycloicosin-20(7H)-yl)ethyl)thiourea (1) were investigated in organic and aqueous media. High sensitivity and selectivity of 1 to Zn(2+) in tetrahydrofuran and a water/acetonitrile mixture were shown by both absorption and fluorescence titration. The observed complexation processes corresponded to 1:1 stoichiometry with the range of binding constants approximately (2-3) x 10(5) M(-1). The degenerate 2PA spectra of 1 and 1/Zn(2+) complex were obtained in the 640-900 nm spectral range with the maximum values of two-photon action cross section for ligand/metal complex approximately (90-130) GM, using a standard two-photon induced fluorescence methodology under femtosecond excitation. The nature of the 2PA bands was analyzed by quantum chemical methods and a specific dependence on metal ion binding processes was shown. Ratiometric fluorescence detection (420/650 nm) provided a good dynamic range (10(-4) to 10(-6) M) for detecting Zn(2+), which along with the good photostability and 2PA properties of probe 1 makes it a good candidate in two-photon fluorescence microscopy imaging and sensing of Zn ions.

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