Chromo- and fluorogenic organometallic sensors

Nicholas C. Fletcher, M. Cristina Lagunas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
245 Downloads (Pure)


Compounds that change their absorption and/or emission properties in the presence of a target ion or molecule have been studied for many years as the basis for optical sensing. Within this group of compounds, a variety of organometallic complexes have been proposed for the detection of a wide range of analytes such as cations (including H+), anions, gases (e.g. O2, SO2, organic vapours), small organic molecules, and large biomolecules (e.g. proteins, DNA). This chapter focuses on work reported within the last few years in the area of organometallic sensors. Some of the most extensively studied systems incorporate metal moieties with intense long-lived metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) excited states as the reporter or indicator unit, such as fac-tricarbonyl Re(I) complexes, cyclometallated Ir(III) species, and diimine Ru(II) or Os(II) derivatives. Other commonly used organometallic sensors are based on Pt-alkynyls and ferrocene fragments. To these reporters, an appropriate recognition or analyte-binding unit is usually attached so that a detectable modification on the colour and/or the emission of the complex occurs upon binding of the analyte. Examples of recognition sites include macrocycles for the binding of cations, H-bonding units selective to specific anions, and DNA intercalating fragments. A different approach is used for the detection of some gases or vapours, where the sensor's response is associated with changes in the crystal packing of the complex on absorption of the gas, or to direct coordination of the analyte to the metal centre.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular organometallic materials for optics
EditorsHubert Bozec, Véronique Guerchais
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783642018664
ISBN (Print)9783642261282, 9783642018657
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2009

Publication series

NameTopics in Organometallic Chemistry
PublisherSpringer Verlag
ISSN (Print)1436-6002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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