A switching sensor of C[sbnd]H bond breakage/formation regulated by mediating copper (II)’s complexation

Xue Zhou, Gang Li, Peng Yang, Liang Zhao, Tuo Deng, Hongyan Shen, Zhaozheng Yang, Zhangmin Tian, Yan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Copper (II)-catalyzed selective C[sbnd]H bond activation has been extensively investigated, but few examples are optically visible and reversible. We herein report a visible switching of copper (II)-catalyzed C[sbnd]H bond formation/cleavage regulated by the association/disassociation between copper (II) and calix[3]dimethoxycarbazole (2). Upon binding to copper (II), the C[sbnd]H bond of the bridging methylene of 2 is cleaved to produce a blue-color carbocationic intermediate 3; once the copper ion is removed by its stronger ligand triethylenetetramine (TETA), 3 is then converted back to 2, and its blue-color disappears correspondingly. The reversibility of the above optical behavior could be repeated up to 6 cycles by mediating the association/disassociation of 2-Cu2+ complexation. Thus, 2 could serve as a copper-selective switching sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Calixarene
  • Carbazole
  • Copper
  • Sensor
  • UV–vis spectra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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