A long-lived luminogenic iridium(III) complex for acetylacetone detection in environmental samples

Wanhe Wang, Tsan Ling Yung, Sha Sha Cheng, Feng Chen, Jin Biao Liu*, Chung Hang Leung*, Edmond Dik Lung MA*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The wide use of acetylacetone (Acac) in industries is fueling the need for the development of Acac detection methods. However, only a few nanomaterial-based fluorescent probes for Acac have been reported, and these probes either lack turn-on detection capability, and/or aqueous compatibility. Herein, a series of iridium(III) dimers were synthesized in one step and screened as luminescent probes for Acac. The candidate probe 8 exhibited a luminescence enhancement of near 160-fold in the presence of Acac in aqueous solution, with a linear relationship of Acac (0.1–10 μM) and a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.043 μM. Mechanistically, the probe chelated with Acac to form a new luminescent complex. Moreover, the long lifetime of probe 8 allowed its response to Acac to be distinguished from fluorescent interference through time-resolved emission spectroscopy (TRES). Probe 8 further demonstrated its practical application as a luminogenic probe for Acac in real water samples. In summary, because probe 8 is very easily prepared and modified compared with existing Acac luminescence probes, it serves as an ideal starting point to develop next-generation luminogenic probes for monitoring Acac in environmental and biological systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128486
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Acetylacetone
  • Iridium(III) dimer
  • Luminogenic probe
  • Time-Resolved emission spectroscopy


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