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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Apr 10;5(7):2438-45. doi: 10.1021/am400063k. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Ratiometric, reversible, and parts per billion level detection of multiple toxic transition metal ions using a single probe in micellar media.

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Department of Organic Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India.


We present the selective sensing of multiple transition metal ions in water using a synthetic single probe. The probe is made up of pyrene and pyridine as signaling and interacting moiety, respectively. The sensor showed different responses toward metal ions just by varying the medium of detection. In organic solvent (acetonitrile), the probe showed selective detection of Hg2+ ion. In water, the fluorescence quenching was observed with three metal ions, Cu2+, Hg2+, and Ni2+. Further, just by varying the surface charge on the micellar aggregates, the probe could detect and discriminate the above-mentioned three different toxic metal ions appropriately. In neutral micelles (Brij 58), the probe showed a selective interaction with Hg2+ ion as observed in acetonitrile medium. However, in anionic micellar medium (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS), the probe showed changes with both Cu2+ and Ni2+ under UV-vis absorption spectroscopy. The discrimination between these two ions was achieved by recording their emission spectra, where it showed selective quenching with Cu2+.

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