Selective fluorescence sensing of zinc and mercury ions with hydrophilic 1,2,3-triazolyl fluorene probes

Dao M. Nguyen, Andrew Frazer, Luis Rodriguez, Kevin D. Belfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The ability to rapidly detect biologically and environmentally significant metal ions such as zinc and mercury is important to study a number of important cellular and environmental processes. Hydrophilic bis(1,2,3-triazolyl)fluorene- based derivatives containing a 1,2,3-triazole-based recognition moiety were synthesized through Click chemistry and characterized by UV-vis absorption, fluorescence emission, and two-photon absorption as new fluorescence sensing probes, selective for Zn2+ and Hg2+ ions. The UV-vis absorption and fluorescence emission spectra of the complexes exhibited blue-shifted absorption and emission spectra upon chelation to Zn2+ and Hg2+ ions, resulting in ca. 2-fold enhancement in fluorescence. Fluorometric titration revealed that 1:2 and 1:3 ligand to metal complexes formed with binding constants of 108 and 1016 for Zn 2+ and Hg2+, respectively. The two-photon absorption cross sections for the probes and probe-metal ion complexes ranged from 200 to 350 GM at 800 nm. These novel fluorescent compounds may have potential as new metal ion sensors to probe cellular and biological environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3472-3481
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 8 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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