Reactive Probes for Ratiometric Detection of Co2+ and Cu+ Based on Excited-State Intramolecular Proton Transfer Mechanism

An excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) mechanism based two reactive probes HBTCo and HBTCu is reported for the selective detection of Co2+ and Cu+ respectively in a reducing aqueous environment. Co2+ and Cu+ mediated oxidative benzylic ether (C–O) bond cleavage offers ratiometric detection of these metal ions.