Fluorescent copolymer aggregate sensor for lithium chloride

Hu Wang, Leighton O. Jones, Tian Zhao, Inhong Hwang, Vincent M. M. Lynch, Niveen M. Khashab, George C Schatz, Zachariah A. A. Page, Jonathan L. Sessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We report a copolymeric fluorescent sensor that is selective for lithium chloride. The two constituent polymers comprise pendent triphenylethylene (TPE) moieties for aggregate induced emission (AIE) along with either strapped-calix[4]pyrrole or secondary ammonium groups that drive aggregation via self-assembly upon polymer mixing. Addition of LiCl in acetonitrile disrupts the strapped-calix[4]pyrrole/secondary ammonium chloride salt host–guest crosslinks leading to disaggregation of the polymer chains and a decrease in TPE emission. The lack of AIE perturbation upon addition of NaCl, KCl, MgCl2 or CaCl2 provides for high selectivity for LiCl relative to potential interferants. This supramolecular dual polymer approach could serve as a complement to more traditional sensor systems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChemical Science
StatePublished - Mar 22 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-04-10
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2019-CRG8-4032
Acknowledgements: We gratefully acknowledge the Robert A. Welch Foundation (F-0018 and 2007 to J. L. S. and Z. A. P., respective) for financial support. J. L. S. and N. M. K. acknowledge support from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST; grant OSR-2019-CRG8-4032). The work in Evanston was supported by the Center for the Sustainable Separation of Metals (CSSM) supported by the National Science Foundation (grant no. CHE1925708). Limited support for this work was also provided by U.S. Borax.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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