Inorganic Chemistry, Vol.56, No.23, 14533-14539, 2017
Ratiometric Fluorescent Detection of Pb2+ by FRET-Based Phthalocyanine-Porphyrin Dyads
Sensitive and selective detection of Pb2+ is a very worthwhile endeavor in terms of both human health and environmental protection, as the heavy metal is fairly ubiquitous and highly toxic. In this study, we designed phthalocyanine-porphyrin (Pc-Por) heterodyads, namely, H2Pc-alpha-ZnPor (1) and H2Pc-beta-ZnPor (2), by connecting a zinc(II) porphyrin moiety to the nonperipheral (alpha) or peripheral (beta) position of a metal-free phthalocyanine moiety. Upon excitation at the porphyrin Soret region (420 nm), both of the dyads exhibited not only a porphyrin emission (605 nm) but also a phthalocyanine emission (ca. 700 nm),, indicating the occurrence of intramolecular fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) processes from the porphyrin donor to the phthalocyanine acceptor. The dyads can selectively bind Pb2+ in the phthalocyanine core leading to a red shift of the phthalocyanine absorption and thus a decrease of spectral overlap between the porphyrin emission and phthalocyanine absorption, which in turn suppresses the intramolecular FRET. In addition, the binding of Pb2+ can highly quench the emission of phthalocyanine by heavy-metal ion effects. The synergistic coupled functions endow the dyads with remarkable ratiometric fluorescent responses at two distinct wavelengths (F-605/F-703 for 1 and F-605/F-700 for 2). The emission intensity ratio increased as a linear function to the concentration of Pb2+ in the range of 0-4.0 mu M, whereas the detection limits were determined to be 3.4 X 10(-9) and 2.2 X 10(-8) M for 1 and 2, respectively. Furthermore, by comparative study of 1 and 2, the effects of distance and relative orientation between Pc and ZnPor fluorophores on the FRET efficiency and sensing performance were highlighted, which is helpful for further optimizing such FRET systems.