4-Functionalized terpyridine derivative as dual responsive chemosensor for biologically important inorganic cations and fluoride anion

  • Sethu Amuthakala
  • Dominic Savio Arumai Selvan
  • Aziz Kalilur RahimanEmail author
Original Paper


A dual responsive sensor molecule, 2-(4-(2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridin)-4′-yl-phenyl)-N-methyl-3-thiosemicarbazone, has been synthesized and characterized using standard analytical and spectroscopic techniques. The dual binding properties of the sensor molecule were investigated using biologically important inorganic cations (Mn2+, Fe2+, Ni2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Pb2+ and Hg2+) and anions (F¯, Cl¯, Br¯, I¯, HSO4¯ and H2PO4¯). The sensor molecule is equipped with analyte coordinating donor sites displaying charge transfer controlled spectroscopic properties and shows analyte–receptor interactions. Sensing mechanism involving host–guest interactions was confirmed by spectral and cyclic voltammetry techniques. The receptor shows colorimetric signalling in solution for cations such as Mn2+, Ni2+ and Cu2+ as evidenced by instant colour changes even at 2 μL aliquots of manganese and copper cations, and 4 μL aliquot for nickel cation, among the studied cations. Fluoride anion was detected by naked eye even at 2 μL of aliquot, signalled by the development of yellowish brown colour, through hydrogen bonding, deprotonation of N–H fragment and formation of HF2¯. Thus, the receptor shows dual sensing ability towards selected cations and F¯ anion. Further, paper strip experiments on receptor were also employed for the detection of cations and fluoride anion in solution.


Terpyridine derivative Bifunctional chemosensor Colorimetric sensor Absorption titration Sensing mechanism 



The authors thank Sophisticated Instrumentation Facility (SIF), Chemistry Division, School of Advanced Sciences, VIT, Vellore—632 014, for providing NMR spectral facility.

Supplementary material

13738_2019_1851_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 2479 kb)


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Copyright information

© Iranian Chemical Society 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Post-Graduate and Research Department of Chemistry, The New College (Autonomous)University of MadrasChennaiIndia

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