Naphthyridine derived colorimetric and fluorescent turn off sensors for Ni2+ in aqueous media

A. Ashraf, M. Islam, M. Khalid, A. P. Davis, M. T. Ahsan, M. Yaqub, A. Syed, A. M. Elgorban, A. H. Bahkali, and Z. Shafiq

Sci. Rep. 2021, 11, 19242


Highly selective and sensitive 2,7-naphthyridine based colorimetric and fluorescence “Turn Off” chemosensors (L1-L4) for detection of Ni2+ in aqueous media are reported. The receptors (L1-L4) showed a distinct color change from yellow to red by addition of Ni2+ with spectral changes in bands at 535–550 nm. The changes are reversible and pH independent. The detection limits for Ni2+ by (L1-L4) are in the range of 0.2–0.5 µM by UV–Visible data and 0.040–0.47 µM by fluorescence data, which is lower than the permissible value of Ni2+ (1.2 µM) in drinking water defined by EPA. The binding stoichiometries of L1-L4 for Ni2+ were found to be 2:1 through Job’s plot and ESI–MS analysis. Moreover the receptors can be used to quantify Ni2+ in real water samples. Formation of test strips by the dip-stick method increases the practical applicability of the Ni2+ test for “in-the-field” measurements. DFT calculations and AIM analyses supported the experimentally determined 2:1 stoichiometries of complexation. TD-DFT calculations were performed which showed slightly decreased FMO energy gaps due to ligand–metal charge transfer (LMCT).