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Revealing the hydrolysis mechanism of a Hg2+-reactive fluorescein probe : novel insights on thionocarbonated dyes

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American Chemical Society
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As one of the most toxic metal pollutants, mercury is the subject of extensive research to improve current detection strategies, notably to develop sensitive, selective, fast, and affordable Hg2+-responsive fluorescent probes. Comprehending the sensing mechanism of these molecules is a crucial step in their design and optimization of their performance. Herein, a new fluorescein-based thionocarbonate-appended Hg2+-sensitive probe was synthesized to study the hydrolysis reactions involved in the sensing process. Autohydrolysis was revealed as a significant component of the signal generation mechanism, occurring concurrently with Hg2+-catalyzed hydrolysis. This knowledge was used to investigate the effects of key experimental conditions (pH, temperature, chloride ions) on sensing efficiency. Overall, the chemical and physical properties of this new thionocarbonated dye and the insights into its sensing mechanism will be instrumental in designing reliable and effective portable sensing strategies for mercury and other heavy metals.

ACS omega, Vol. 5 (1), 701-711 (2019)
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article de recherche