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Sensors 2017, 17(7), 1672;

Theoretical Studies on Two-Photon Fluorescent Hg2+ Probes Based on the Coumarin-Rhodamine System

School of Science, Qilu University of Technology, Jinan 250353, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 20 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluorescent Probes and Sensors)
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The development of fluorescent sensors for Hg2+ has attracted much attention due to the well-known adverse effects of mercury on biological health. In the present work, the optical properties of two newly-synthesized Hg2+ chemosensors based on the coumarin-rhodamine system (named Pro1 and Pro2) were systematically investigated using time-dependent density functional theory. It is shown that Pro1 and Pro2 are effective ratiometric fluorescent Hg2+ probes, which recognize Hg2+ by Förster resonance energy transfer and through bond energy transfer mechanisms, respectively. To further understand the mechanisms of the two probes, we have developed an approach to predict the energy transfer rate between the donor and acceptor. Using this approach, it can be inferred that Pro1 has a six times higher energy transfer rate than Pro2. Thus the influence of spacer group between the donor and acceptor on the sensing performance of the probe is demonstrated. Specifically, two-photon absorption properties of these two probes are calculated. We have found that both probes show significant two-photon responses in the near-infrared light region. However, only the maximum two-photon absorption cross section of Pro1 is greatly enhanced with the presence of Hg2+, indicating that Pro1 can act as a potential two-photon excited fluorescent probe for Hg2+. The theoretical investigations would be helpful to build a relationship between the structure and the optical properties of the probes, providing information on the design of efficient two-photon fluorescent sensors that can be used for biological imaging of Hg2+ in vivo. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluorescent Hg2+ probe; time-dependent density functional theory; two-photon absorption fluorescent Hg2+ probe; time-dependent density functional theory; two-photon absorption

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Zhang, Y.; Leng, J. Theoretical Studies on Two-Photon Fluorescent Hg2+ Probes Based on the Coumarin-Rhodamine System. Sensors 2017, 17, 1672.

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