Reaction-based colorimetric and ratiometric fluorescence sensor for detection of cyanide in aqueous media

Yan Duo Lin, Yung Shu Pen, Weiting Su, Kang Ling Liau, Yun Sheng Wen, Chin Hsin Tu, Chia Hsing Sun, Tahsin J. Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


A stilbene-based compound (1) has been prepared and was highly selective for the detection of cyanide anion in aqueous media even in the presence of other anions, such as F-, Cl-, Br-, I -, ClO4-, H2PO4 -, HSO4-, NO3-, and CH3CO2-. A noticeable change in the color of the solution, along with a prominent fluorescence enhancement, was observed upon the addition of cyanide. The color change was observed upon the nucleophilic addition of the cyanide anion to the electron-deficient cyanoacrylate group of 1. The spectral changes induced by the reaction were analyzed by comparison with two model compounds, such as compound 2 with dimethyl substituents and compound 3 without a cyanoacrylate group. An intramolecular charge-transfer (ICT) mechanism played a key role in the sensing properties, and the mechanism was supported by DFT/TDDFT calculations. Sense and sensitivity: A highly efficient and selective colorimetric and ratiometric fluorescent sensor for detection of cyanide in aqueous media has been developed. This sensor exhibits a distinctive color change upon reaction with cyanide, along with significant fluorescence amplification. The sensing mechanism is discussed with the aid of spectral analyses and DFT/TDDFT calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2864-2871
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • anions
  • chemodosimeter
  • cyanides
  • fluorescence
  • sensors


Dive into the research topics of 'Reaction-based colorimetric and ratiometric fluorescence sensor for detection of cyanide in aqueous media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this