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A highly selective turn-on fluorescent probe for the detection of zinc

Shen, Ling Yi; Chen, Xiao Li; Yang, Xian Jiong; Xu, Hong; Huang, Ya Li; Zhang, Xing; Redshaw, Carl; Zhang, Qi Long


Ling Yi Shen

Xiao Li Chen

Xian Jiong Yang

Hong Xu

Ya Li Huang

Xing Zhang

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Professor Carl Redshaw
Professor of Inorganic Materials Chemistry and REF Lead for Chemistry

Qi Long Zhang


A novel turn-on fluorescence probe L has been designed that exhibits high selectivity and sensitivity with a detection limit of 9.53 × 10−8 mol/L for the quantification of Zn2+ .1H-NMR spectroscopy and single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis revealed the unsymmetrical nature of the structure of the Schiff base probe L. An emission titration experiment in the presence of different molar fractions of Zn2+ was used to perform a Job’s plot analysis. The results showed that the stoichiometric ratio of the complex formed by L and Zn2+ was 1:1. Moreover, the molecular structure of the mononuclear Cu complex reveals one ligand L coordinates with one Cu atom in the asymmetric unit. On adding CuCl2 to the ZnCl2/L system, a Cu-Zn complex was formed and a strong quenching behavior was observed, which inferred that the Cu2+ displaced Zn2+ to coordinate with the imine nitrogen atoms and hydroxyl oxygen atoms of probe L.


Shen, L. Y., Chen, X. L., Yang, X. J., Xu, H., Huang, Y. L., Zhang, X., …Zhang, Q. L. (2021). A highly selective turn-on fluorescent probe for the detection of zinc. Molecules, 26(13), Article 3825.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 19, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 23, 2021
Publication Date Jul 1, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 23, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Molecules
Electronic ISSN 1420-3049
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 13
Article Number 3825
Keywords Fluorescent probe; Schiff base; Crystal structure; Titration experiments
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Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

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