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Coordination Mode-Regulated Lanthanide Supramolecular Hydrogels with Tunable Luminescence and Stimuli-Responsive Properties

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journal contribution
posted on 10.06.2021, 14:04 by Longyue Yu, Ruiguang Zhao, Ning Wang, Shengyu Feng, Xing-Dong Xu
Hydrogels with tunable luminescence and stimuli responsiveness have attracted wide interest, owing to the desire to design soft machines and/or wearable electronic devices. Yet, it is challenging to obtain those that possess multicolorimetric change properties when exposed to complex mechanical stimuli and are strong, elastic, and capable of self-healing. Strong polymers with adjustable and switchable mechanical and fluorescence properties were designed using fluorescent lanthanide (Eu/Tb) as a cross-linker. The resulting compounds contained dynamic coordination and hydrogen bonds forming the physical cross-linking network; sodium 4-(allyloxy)­pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylate (SPD) and H2O ligands coordinated with Eu/Tb­(III) centers through different coordination modes and interactions. Three SPDs coordinated with Tb­(III), and two SPDs and three weaker H2O coordinated with Eu­(III). As a result, Eu/Tb–ligand bonds with different degrees of cleavages showed changes in the fluorescence color when exposed to complex mechanical stimuli. Also, for the reversible formation and dissociation of the Eu/Tb–SPD complexes, the designed hydrogel showed potential application in human fingerprint sensing.