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Electron-Rich Triphenylamine-Based Sensors for Picric Acid Detection

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journal contribution
posted on 17.04.2015 by Aniket Chowdhury, Partha Sarathi Mukherjee
This paper demonstrates the role of solvent in selectivity and sensitivity of a series of electron-rich compounds for the detection of trace amounts of picric acid. Two new electron-rich fluorescent esters (6, 7) containing a triphenylamine backbone as well as their analogous carboxylic acids (8, 9) have been synthesized and characterized. Fluorescent triphenylamine coupled with an ethynyl moiety constitutes π-electron-rich selective and sensitive probes for electron-deficient picric acid (PA). In solution, the high sensitivity of all the sensors toward PA can be attributed to a combined effect of the ground-state charge-transfer complex formation and resonance energy transfer between the sensor and analyte. The acids 8 and 9 also showed enhanced sensitivity for nitroaromatics in the solid state, and their enhanced sensitivity could be attributed to exciton migration due to close proximity of the neighboring acid molecules, as evident from the X-ray diffraction study. The compounds were found to be quite sensitive for the detection of trace amount of nitroaromatics in solution, solid, and contact mode.