Computational insights into the mechanism of formaldehyde detection by luminescent covalent organic framework

  • Xuedan SongEmail author
  • Zhengyan Zhao
  • Duanhui Si
  • Xun Wang
  • Fengyi Zhou
  • Mengru Zhang
  • Yantao Shi
  • Ce Hao
Original Paper


Luminescent covalent organic frameworks (COFs) as fluorescent sensor materials provide a distinct advantage over other materials. In this work, we investigated the hydrogen bonding between the luminescent COF Ph-An-COF and formaldehyde in its excited electronic state by using density functional theory and time-dependent density functional theory to determine whether this type of COF can be used for formaldehyde detection. Hydrogen bonding significantly changed the nature of the frontier orbital and the luminescent properties. Our study reveals that the hydrogen bonding was strengthened in the excited state and the fluorescence rate coefficient was significantly reduced, which is not favorable for the luminescence of this type of COF and would lead to a luminescence decrease or quenching phenomenon. Therefore, this type of luminescent COF can be used as a potential chemical sensor to detect formaldehyde. This work provides an insight into the design of luminescence covalent organic frameworks.


Luminescent covalent organic framework Hydrogen bonding DFT TDDFT Formaldehyde detection 


Funding information

This work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21606040 and 21677029); the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (DUT18LK26); the Supercomputing Center of Dalian University of Technology; the National Supercomputing Center in LvLiang of China.

Supplementary material

894_2019_4134_MOESM1_ESM.docx (753 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 753 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Science and TechnologyDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

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