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Solid-State Gas Sensors Developed from Functional Difluoroboradiazaindacene Dyes

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Anthony Harriman, Dr Mohammed Alamiry, Beverly Stewart


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This article describes the synthesis and characterization of several new difluoroboradiazaindacene (BODIPY (TM)) dyes functionalized at the central 8-position by a phenyliodo, phenylheptynoate or phenylheptynoic fragment and at the 3- or 3/5-position(s) by 4-dimethylaminophenylstyryl residue(s). Single-crystal structural determinations confirm the planarity of the dyes, while the absorption and fluorescence spectroscopic properties are highly sensitive to the state of protonation (or alkylation) of the terminal anilino donor group(s). Reversible color tuning from green to blue for absorption and from colorless (i.e., near-IR region) to red for fluorescence is obtained on successive addition of acid and base. The difunctionalized derivative is especially interesting in this respect and shows two well-resolved pK(a) values of 5.10 and 3.04 in acetonitrile. Addition of the first proton causes only small spectral changes and deactivates the molecule towards addition of the second proton. It is this latter step that accommodates the large change in absorption and emission properties, due to the reversible extinction of the intramolecular charge-transfer character inherent to this type of dye. The main focus of the work is the covalent anchoring of the dyes to inert, porous polyacrylate beads so as to form a solid-state sensor suitable for analysis of gases or flowing liquids. The final material is highly stable-its performance is undiminished after more than one year-and fully reversible over many cycles. The sensitivity is such that reactions can be followed by the naked eye and the detection limit is about 600 ppb for HCl and about 80 ppb for ammonia. Trace amounts of diphosgene can be detected, as can alkylating agents. The sensing action is indiscriminate and also operates when the beads are dispersed in aqueous media.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ziessel R, Ulrich G, Harriman A, Alamiry MAH, Stewart B, Retailleau P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Chemistry: A European Journal

Year: 2009

Volume: 15

Issue: 6

Pages: 1359-1369

ISSN (print): 0947-6539

ISSN (electronic): 1521-3765

Publisher: Wiley - VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA


DOI: 10.1002/chem.200801911


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