One of the challenges for fluorescent sensors is to reduce their target environment size from a micrometer scale, such as biological cells, to a nanometer scale. Proton maps near membranes are of importance in bioenergetics and are the first goal in nanometer- scale analysis with fluorescent sensors. Thirty-three fluorescent photoinduced-electron-transfer pH sensors bearing an environment-sensitive benzofurazan fluorophore and having different hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity and hydrogen-bonding abilities are prepared. These sensors are scattered in nanospaces associated with anionic and cationic micelles as model membranes to indicate proton availability and polarity in local spaces. Gathering the data from the sensors allows the successful drawing of proton maps near anionic and cationic micelles, in which electrostatic attraction/ repulsion of protons by the charged head groups of micelles and dielectric suppression of protons are clearly observed.
- fluorescence spectroscopy • fluorescent probes • micelles • molecular devices • sensors