OFFON Fluorescence Sensing of Fluoride by DonorAntimony(V) Lewis Acids Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 American Chemical Society. A series of triarylmethylstibonium Lewis acids of general formula [Ph2MeSb-(p-(C6H4))-FLUO]+ bearing a peripheral electron-rich fluorophore (FLUO = 10H-phenoxazine ([3a]+), diphenylamine ([3b]+), and 9H-carbazole ([3c]+)) have been synthesized and investigated for the fluorescence turn-on sensing of fluoride anions. Treatment of the stibonium cations with fluoride anions leads to the corresponding fluorostiboranes (3a-F-3c-F). While the stibonium cations are almost nonemissive, the fluorostiboranes display fluorophore-centered emissions arising from the corresponding - excited state. The carbazole-containing derivative [3c]+ exhibits the most intense fluorescence turn-on response. It also displays a high binding constant (K > 107 M-1) in MeCN and shows compatibility with protic media such as MeOH (K = 950(50) M-1). Computational studies aimed at identifying the origin of the turn-on response show that the excited state of the stibonium cations is best described as charge transfer in nature with the system of the fluorophore acting as the donor and the - system of the stibonium unit acting as the acceptor. This (FLUO)- / (Ph2MeSb-(p-(C6H4))) excited state is nonemissive, making these cations dark in the absence of fluoride anions. Conversion to the fluorostiboranes occurs via donation of a fluoride lone pair into the antimony-centered . Formation of this Sb-F bond modifies the electronic structure of the platform and restores the emissive - excited state of the fluorophore, thus accounting for the observed OFF-ON fluorescence response.

published proceedings

  • Organometallics

altmetric score

  • 4.3

author list (cited authors)

  • Kumar, A., Yang, M., Kim, M., Gabba, F. P., & Lee, M. H.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Kumar, Ajay||Yang, Mengxi||Kim, Minji||Gabbaï, François P||Lee, Min Hyung

publication date

  • December 2017