Fluorescent in based MOFs showing "turn on" luminescence towards thiols and acting as a ratiometric fluorescence thermometer

Zhao Feng Wu, Bin Tan, Ever Velasco, Hao Wang, Nan Nan Shen, Yu Jie Gao, Xu Zhang, Kun Zhu, Guo Yu Zhang, Yan Yao Liu, Xiu Ze Hei, Xiao Ying Huang, Jing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Herein, two indium-based metal organic frameworks (In-MOFs), namely [(CH3)2NH2][In(bpdc)2]·(DMF)2 (1) and [(CH3)2NH2]3[(In3Cl2)(bpdc)5]·(H2O)5(DMF)2.5 (2, bpdcH2 = 4,4′-biphenyldicarboxylic acid), have been synthesized and characterized. By introducing a Cl- ion as a terminal ligand to break the symmetrical coordination environment of a typical InO8 dodecahedron as that in a three dimensional (3D) compound 1 with a 4-connected and four-fold interpenetrating dia net topology, a chiral 2D compound 2 with unique double-helical chains along the c axis is generated. Fluorescence (FL) measurements indicate that both compounds demonstrate excellent FL sensing behaviour towards CS2, a trace amount of Fe3+ ions and nitro-containing explosives. Notably, the layered 2 exhibits a unique "turn on" FL sensing behaviour towards thiol molecules, e.g., cysteine and 1-butylmercaptan, by exfoliating 2 into a few-layer FL material. The detection mechanism was investigated in detail by multiple characterizations including but not limited to EDS, SEM and AFM. The [(CH3)2NH2]+ cations in 2 can be replaced by an Eu3+ ion to generate 2@Eu3+ which exhibits a new characteristic sharp red emission of Eu3+. More importantly, 2@Eu3+ can serve as a convenient ratiometric FL sensor for temperature, demonstrating obvious color changes from weak purple to red under UV light as the temperature increases. Furthermore, cationic green- and red-light emitting dyes incorporated with 2@dyes emit white light with 17.28% quantum yield.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3049-3055
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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