Assessing citric acid-derived luminescent probes for pH and ammonia sensing: a comprehensive experimental and theoretical study
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2748
EDITED VERSION: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S000326702100951X
UNESCO SUBJECT: 2301 Química Analítica
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
The present work reports on the assessment of luminescent probes derived from citric acid (CA) and β-aminothiols (namely, l-cysteine (Cys) and cysteamine) for instrumental and smartphone-based fluorimetric sensing purposes. Remarkably, the evaluated luminescent probes derived from natural compounds showed pH-dependent dual excitation/dual emission features. Both fluorophores hold promise for the ratiometric fluorimetric sensing of pH, being especially convenient for the smartphone-based sensing of pH via ratiometric analysis by proper selection of B and G color channels. Time dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations allowed to substantiate the pH dependent structure-property relationship and to unveil the critical role of the CA derived carboxyl group, these findings contributing to the fundamental knowledge on these systems for the rational design of new fluorophores and in establishing fluorescence sensing mechanisms of CA-derived systems. Besides, paper-based devices modified with CA-Cys were implemented in a three-phase separation approach for sensitive and selective ammonia sensing, yielding a remarkable enrichment factor of 389 and a limit of detection of 37 μM under optimal conditions. The proposed approach was successfully applied to the determination of ammonia nitrogen and extractable ammonium in water samples and marine sediments, respectively.
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