A fully-aqueous red-fluorescent probe for selective optical sensing of Hg2+ and its application in living cells

Murali Krishna Pola, Mandapati V. Ramakrishnam Raju, Chein Ming Lin, Raghunath Putikam, Ming-Chang Lin, Chandra Prakash Epperla, Huan Cheng Chang, San-Yuan Chen, Hong-Cheu Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A new red-fluorescent mercury ion sensor material is designed and synthesized, which is composed of a tweezer-shaped hydrophilic probe containing bifurcated soft-base atoms N and S coupled with 2-dicyanomethylene-3-cyano-4,5,5-trimethyl-2,5-dihydrofuran (TCF) unit. By virtue of the strong electron-accepting nature of TCF unit (as a push-pull chromophore), this designed sensor material can selectively detect Hg2+ over various tested metal ions in a 100% aqueous medium via naked-eye and photoluminescence (PL) observations. Theoretical and time-resolved photoluminescence measurements further confirmed the selectivity and reversibility of the probe towards Hg2+ via intramolocular charge transfer mechanism in this sensor material. Moreover, the living cell tests by confocal fluorescence images of this sensor material towards Hg2+ were also investigated. Finally, distinguished absorption changes and fluorescence quenching spectral appearances allowed us to present the selective optical indicator of Hg2+ via TCF moiety for the first time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-265
Number of pages10
JournalDyes and Pigments
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Aqueous medium
  • ICT
  • Living cell
  • Push-pull chromophore

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A fully-aqueous red-fluorescent probe for selective optical sensing of Hg<sup>2+</sup> and its application in living cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this