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A Turn-On Fluorescent Probe for Detection of Sub-ppm Levels of a Sulfur Mustard Simulant with High Selectivity

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journal contribution
posted on 12.03.2018, 00:00 authored by Yuanlin Zhang, Yanlin Lv, Xuefei Wang, Aidong Peng, Kaiquan Zhang, Xiaoke Jie, Jijun Huang, Zhiyuan Tian
A new type of fluorescent probe capable of detecting a sulfur mustard (SM) simultant at a concentration of 1.2 μM in solution and 0.5 ppm in the gas phase has been developed. Owing to its molecular structure with a thiocarbonyl component and two piperidyl moieties integrated into the xanthene molecular skeleton, this probe underwent a highly selective nucleophilic reaction with the SM simultant and generated a thiopyronin derivative emitting intensive pink fluorescence. The distinct difference in electronic structure between the probe and thiopyronin derivative generated a marked shift of the absorption band from 445 to 567 nm, which enabled an optimal wavelength propitious for exciting the thiopyronin derivative but adverse to the probe. Such efficient separation of the excitation wavelength and tremendous increase in fluorescence quantum yield, from less than 0.002 to 0.53, upon conversion from the probe to the thiopyronin derivative, jointly led to a distinct contrast in the beaconing fluorescence signal (up to 850-fold) and therefore the unprecedented sensitivity for detecting SM species.

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