Palladium-based catalysts are widely used in pharmaceutical industries, which can sometimes cause palladium contamination in pharmaceutical drug manufacture. It is important to separately quantify the different oxidation states of palladium (Pd0and Pd2+) in pharmaceuticals as they react with scavengers differently. Although palladium sensors have been under intense investigation, oxidation state differentiators are very rare. Here, we report a simple porphyrin-coumarin conjugate,PPIX-L2, that can selectively discriminate between the oxidation states of palladium. The reaction ofPPIX-L2with Pd0showed a 24-fold fluorescence increase of the coumarin emission, meanwhile, the presence of Pd2+led to a 98% quenching of the porphyrin emission. Fluorescent responses ofPPIX-L2towards Pd0and Pd2+are specific, and its sensitivity towards both palladium species is significantly increased with a detection limit of 75 nM and 382 nM for Pd0and Pd2+respectively.
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