First Supramolecular Sensors for Phosphonate Anions
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Fluorescent tripodal anion sensors with a 1,3,5-triethylbenzene core display a turn-on fluorescence response to phosphonate and phosphate anions and may be used as optical sensors. The properties of the receptors and sensors as well as their anion binding behavior were investigated both in solution and in solid state. The turn-on fluorescence response can be leveraged in sensing of phosphate anions and, most importantly, hydrolysis products of the nerve gas sarin, isopropyl methylphosphonate (IMP), and methylphosphonate (MP). The fluorescence signal amplification in the presence of anions allows for application of these molecules in a sensor microarray suitable for high-throughput screening.