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Multiple-Emitting Luminescent Metal–Organic Framework as an Array-on-a-MOF for Rapid Screening and Discrimination of Nitroaromatics

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posted on 2024-04-04, 09:43 authored by Beining Chen, Xiaojing Mo, Xiaolei Qu, Zhaoyi Xu, Shourong Zheng, Heyun Fu
Fluorescence array technologies have attracted great interest in the sensing field because of their high sensitivity, low cost, and capability of multitarget detection. However, traditional array sensing relies on multiple independent sensors and thus often requires time-consuming and laborious measurement processes. Herein, we introduce a novel fluorescence array strategy of the array-on-a-metal–organic framework (MOF), which integrates multiple array elements into a single MOF matrix to achieve facile sensing and discrimination of multiple target analytes. As a proof-of-concept system, we constructed a luminescent MOF containing three different emitting channels, including a lanthanide ion (europium/Eu3+, red emission), a fluorescent dye (7-hydroxycoumarin-4-acetic acid/HCAA, blue emission), and the MOF itself (UiO-66-type MOF, blue-violet emission). Five structurally similar nitroaromatic compounds (NACs) were chosen as the targets. All three channels of the array-on-a-MOF displayed rapid and stable fluorescence quenching responses to NACs (response equilibrium achieved within 30 s). Different responses were generated for each channel against each NAC due to the various quenching mechanisms, including photoinduced electron transfer, energy competition, and the inner filter effect. Using linear discriminant analysis, the array-on-a-MOF successfully distinguished the five NACs and their mixtures at varying concentrations and demonstrated good sensitivity to quantify individual NACs (detect limit below the advisory concentration in drinking water). Moreover, the array also showed feasibility in the sensing and discrimination of multiple NACs in real water samples. The proposed “array-on-a-MOF” strategy simplifies multitarget discrimination procedures and holds great promise for various sensing applications.

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