A novel turn-on colorimetric and fluorescent sensor for Fe3+and Al3+with solvent-dependent binding properties and its sequential response to carbonate

Liang He, Chang Liu, John Haozhong Xin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


A novel bis-rhodamine derivative BRU was designed and synthesized in a simple way. In aqueous media, BRU could efficiently recognize Fe3+and Al3+among other metal ions with different color appearances through a turn-on colorimetric response. In the presence of Fe3+or Al3+, BRU solution also displayed enhanced fluorescent emission. According to the detection limit, BRU had high recognition sensitivity towards Fe3+and Al3+based on either colorimetric absorbance or fluorescent emission. Interestingly, BRU bound to Fe3+or Al3+with a simple 1:1 mode in CH3OH and a 1:2 mode in CH3OH/H2O, displaying solvent-dependent binding property. In addition, the in situ generated BRU-Fe3+and BRU-Al3+complex exhibited fluorescence turn-off and color disappearance towards carbonate among other anions. These provide a potential application in sequential detection of Fe3+, Al3+and carbonate with naked-eyes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2015


  • Al 3+
  • Carbonate
  • Colorimetric sensor
  • Fe 3+
  • Fluorescence
  • Rhodamine

ASJC 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

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