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Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2082; doi:10.3390/s16122082

An Ionic 1,4-Bis(styryl)benzene-Based Fluorescent Probe for Mercury(II) Detection in Water via Deprotection of the Thioacetal Group

Department of Cogno-Mechatronics Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Korea
Department of Chemistry, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Rudolf Seitz
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colorimetric and Fluorescent Sensor)
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Highly sensitive and selective mercury detection in aqueous media is urgently needed because mercury poisoning usually results from exposure to water-soluble forms of mercury by inhalation and/or ingesting. An ionic conjugated oligoelectrolye (M1Q) based on 1,4-bis(styryl)benzene was synthesized as a fluorescent mercury(II) probe. The thioacetal moiety and quaternized ammonium group were incorporated for Hg2+ recognition and water solubility. A neutral Hg2+ probe (M1) was also prepared based on the same molecular backbone, and their sensor characteristics were investigated in a mixture of acetonitrile/water and in water. In the presence of Hg2+, the thioacetal group was converted to aldehyde functionality, and the resulting photoluminescence intensity decreased. In water, M1Q successfully demonstrated highly sensitive detection, showing a binding toward Hg2+ that was ~15 times stronger and a signal on/off ratio twice as high, compared to M1 in acetonitrile/water. The thioacetal deprotection by Hg2+ ions was substantially facilitated in water without an organic cosolvent. The limit of detection was measured to be 7 nM with a detection range of 10–180 nM in 100% aqueous medium. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury; conjugated oligoelectrolyte; aqueous media; chemosensor; fluorescent sensor mercury; conjugated oligoelectrolyte; aqueous media; chemosensor; fluorescent sensor

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Le, V.S.; Jeong, J.-E.; Huynh, H.T.; Lee, J.; Woo, H.Y. An Ionic 1,4-Bis(styryl)benzene-Based Fluorescent Probe for Mercury(II) Detection in Water via Deprotection of the Thioacetal Group. Sensors 2016, 16, 2082.

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