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Isocyanonaphthalenes as extremely low molecular weight, selective, ratiometric fluorescent probes for Mercury(II)

Nagy, Miklós, Kovács, Sándor Lajos, Nagy, Tibor, Rácz, Dávid, Zsuga, Miklós, Kéki, Sándor
Talanta 2019 v.201 pp. 165-173
chemical reactions, detection limit, fluorescence, fluorescent dyes, ions, mercury, moieties, molecular weight, pH, silver
The specially designed chemical structure of our recently developed solvatochromic amino-isocyanonaphthalene (ICAN) dye family enables the selective detection of Hg2+ and at the same time is able to indicate the presence of Ag+. In addition to its easy preparation and nontoxic nature, ICAN is the lowest molecular weight dye reported for ratiometric fluorescent Hg2+ detection in water, so far. The basis of this double selectivity is the reduction of the isonitrile moiety to amine by a chemical reaction with Hg2+ resulting in a greater than 100 nm hypsochromic shift (and switch on of fluorescence) of the emission maximum relative to ICAN, whereas the complexation of Ag+ with the NC group yields an approximately 20 nm bathochromic shift (and quenching). In contrast, other common ions have little effect on the position of the emission maximum in aqueous medium. In completely aqueous medium at pH = 6, the limit of quantification was found to be lower than 17 nM and the limit of detection lower than 6 nM for Hg2+. The practical applicability of the method was demonstrated on dental amalgam.