Naphthoimidazolium based ratiometric fluorescent probes for F and CN, and anion-activated CO2 sensing

Nahyun Kwon, Gain Baek, K. M.K. Swamy, M. Lee, Qingling Xu, Youngmee Kim, Sung Jin Kim, Juyoung Yoon

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30 Scopus citations


The results of the current study show that fluoride and cyanide recognition by two naphthoimidazolium derivatives can be applied to CO2 sensing. Among various anions, only fluoride and cyanide promote changes in absorption and fluorescence wavelegnth maxima of the naphthoimidazolium derivative in CH3CN. The changes are attributed to (C–H)+—anion- ionic hydrogen bonding interactions between the conjugated imidazolium salts and these anions. Especially important is the observations that the fluorescence emission maxima of the naphthoimidazolium derivative at 465 nm undergo hysochromic shifts to 375 nm upon addition of fluoride and cyanide exclusively. The naphthoimidazolium derivatives undergo highly selective changes in their fluoerecence maximum from 465 nm to 375 nm upon addition of CN even when 2% water is present in the CH3CN solution. Moreover, exposure of the solution of CN activated naphthoimidazolium derivative to CO2 promotes a red shift of emission maximum back to 465 nm. The results demonstrate that the naphthoimidazolium derivatives can be utilized for anion activated ratiometric sensing of CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107679
JournalDyes and Pigments
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea ( 2012R1A3A2048814 to J.Y.), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21708041 to Q.X.),Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences,Excellent Talents Project-Beijing Municipal Party Committee Organization Department (2017000097607G077 to Q.X.) and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Mass spectral data were obtained from the Korea Basic Science Institute (Daegu) on a Jeol JMS 700 high resolution mass spectrometer.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • carbon dioxide sensor
  • Cyanide selective fluorescent probe
  • Fluoride selective fluorescent probe
  • Imidazolium receptor for anions
  • Ratiomertic fluorescent sensor


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