In this study, an assay to quantify the presence of aluminum ions using a salicylimine-based receptor was developed utilizing turn-on fluorescence enhancement. Upon treatment with aluminum ions, the fluorescence of the sensor was enhanced at 510 nm due to formation of a 1:1 complex between the chemosensor and the aluminum ions at room temperature. As the concentration of Al 3+ was increased, the fluorescence gradually increased. Other metal ions, such as Na +, Ag +, K +, Ca 2+, Mg 2+, Hg 2+, Mn 2+, Co 2+, Ni 2+, Cu 2+, Zn 2+, Cd 2+, Pb 2+, Cr 3+, Fe 3+, and In 3+, had no such significant effect on the fluorescence. In addition, we show that the probe could be used to map intracellular Al 3+ distribution in live cells by confocal microscopy.