A viologen–perylenediimide conjugate, denoted PDEV, is prepared for efficient base sensing. The conjugate shows solvatochromic behavior as well. The base sensitivity of viologen is purposefully coupled with the emission property of perylenediimide (PDI) to lower the detection limit. PDEV shows base-sensing ability at the ppb level, which is at least three orders of magnitude lower than those of previously reported sensors. The probe is sensitive toward solvent polarity and generates different shades of colors according to the polarity of the medium (solvent). The photophysical properties show a linear correlation with the solvent polarity, and this makes it an efficient solvatochromic agent. On the other hand, the generation of viologen radical cations by bases affects the aggregation and consequently the absorption and emission behavior of the PDI core. The effect of bases can also be visualized, because the probe generates different colors in the presence of bases, both under normal and under UV light. Organic amines can be detected even in the crystalline state, since the dark red color of the PDEV crystals changes to purple in a reversible fashion on exposure to amine vapors. An easy and practical paper-based tool created by using the probe can efficiently be used to detect solvent polarity and presence of bases optically.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry