Selective and sensitive fluorescent sensors for metal ions based on manipulation of side-chain compositions of poly(p-phenyleneethynylene)s

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The syntheses and metal-responsive properties of poly-(p- phenyleenethynylene)s with grafted new pseudo-crown-ether groups are reported. These polymers exhibit high sensitivities to alkali ions because of their collective optical properties, which are very sensitive to ion-induced conformational changes. The quenching of polymer fluorescence caused by the conformational changes is proportional to the ion concentration. The selectivity of the sensing materials toward Li+ ions is significantly enhanced by controlling the size of the binding site via manipulation of the polymer side-chain compositions. The polymers are very stable for their six-month solid-state storage at room temperature.

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Analytical Chemistry