Photoinduced Signal Amplification through Controlled Externally Sensitized Fragmentation in Masked Sensitizers

Addition of lithiated dithianes to diaryl ketones, potential electron-transfer sensitizers, disrupts conjugation between the two aromatic moieties, effectively masking the sensitizer. A novel photoamplification strategy is developed based on photosensitized cleavage in such adducts, where each fragmentation event releases more diaryl ketone, capable of sensitization. As a result, mass release of dithianes, triggered with a very small amount of the initiator, is observed. Such amplified release can be made contingent on a molecular recognition event, offering a promising methodology for high throughput bioanalytical applications. The concept is proved with the use of micro- and nanosized polymeric supports, including dendrimers.