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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Apr 4;10(13):11056-11062. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b01314. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

Differentiable Detection of Volatile Amines with a Viologen-Derived Metal-Organic Material.

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Shanghai Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Chemical Processes, College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering , East China Normal University , Shanghai 200062 , P. R. China.


The development of selective sensing materials for amine detection has received considerable attentions because amines have high toxicity and exist widely. In this article, we demonstrate for the first time that a degree of discriminative detection of alkylamines can be achieved by a metal-organic coordination material. The material is derived from CdII and 4,4'-bipyridinium-1,1'-bis(phenylene-3-carboxylate), shows 1D channels lined with electron-deficient viologen chromophores, and exhibits different colors upon contact with amine vapors of different molecular sizes and types (primary, secondary, and tertiary). The vapochromism is attributable to electron transfer from the amine group to viologen. The discrimination between amines is because the analyte-receptor interactions, which either directly mediate or indirectly affect electron transfer, are influenced by the number of the N-H bonds in the amine molecule, the size of the amine molecule relative to the receptor channel and the steric hindrance for the electron donor-acceptor contacts. The material also shows reversible photo- and hydrochromism owing to stimuli-induced reversible electron transfer. The compound can be deposited in paper simply by spraying the mixture solution of the starting metal salt and the ligand. The paper can be used as portable test strips for visual and differentiable detection of amines and as erasable inkless printing medium.


amines; coordination polymers; hydrochromism; photochromism; viologen


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