Hydrophilic Truxene Derivative as a Fluorescent off-on Sensor for Copper (II) Ion and Phosphate Species

  • Pornpat Sam-ang
  • Komthep Silpcharu
  • Mongkol Sukwattanasinitt
  • Paitoon RashatasakhonEmail author


A new symmetrical truxene derivative (TP3) containing three dipicolylamino peripheral groups is successfully synthesized in four synthetic steps with an overall yield of 42%. This hydrophilic fluorescent compound exhibits a maximum absorption wavelength at 375 nm, an emission maximum at 474 nm with an outstanding 58% quantum efficiency in THF-HEPES buffer mixture. The compound shows a highly selective fluorescence quenching towards Cu(II) ion with a detection limit of 0.06 ppm. The results from mass spectrometry and Job plot indicate that a 1:1 complex between TP3 and Cu(II) ion is responsible for the signal quenching. Interestingly, this TP3-Cu complex can be used as a turn-on sensor for hydrogen phosphate and nucleoside phosphates. The limit of detection for hydrogen phosphate is estimated at 8.7 nM. The signal restoration involves a displacement of TP3 in the complex by the phosphates which have strong coordination abilities with Cu(II) ion.


Fluorescence Sensor Picolylamine Truxene Copper (II) ion Phosphate 



This work was supported by the Grant for International Research Integration: Chula Research Scholar and the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC), NSTDA, Ministry of Science and Technology, Thailand, through its program of Research Network NANOTEC (RNN). PS thanks to the Overseas Research Experience Scholarship for Graduate Student, the 90th Anniversary of Chulalongkorn University Fund (Ratchadapiseksomphot fund) and the financial support from the Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Faculty of Science and TechnologyPibulsongkram Rajabhat UniversityPhitsanulokThailand
  3. 3.Nanotec-CU Center of Excellence on Food and Agriculture, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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