A pyrocatechol violet-titanium alkoxide complex for HF sensing: Study on the complex structure and application

Chaemyeong Lee, Yoon Joo Ko, Sang Yup Lee

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7 Citations (Scopus)


We prepared a pyrocatechol violet-titanium (IV) bis(ammonium lactato)dihydroxide (PV-TALH) complex that can be used as a colorimetric HF sensing dye. The titanium alkoxide, titanium (IV) bis(ammonium lactato)dihydroxide (TALH), easily formed a complex with pyrocatechol violet (PV) dye, which dissociated when exposed to HF and led to visible color change from dark blue to light yellow. The PV-TALH complex showed outstanding selectivity for HF over other acids. To elucidate the HF sensing mechanism, structural changes in the PV-TALH complex were investigated through nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and LC-mass spectroscopy for the first time. The NMR spectroscopy study revealed that PV catechol moiety associated with Ti of TALH to form a complex while changing the coordination of lactate ligand from bidentate to monodentate. When the complex is exposed to HF, fluoride ion cleaved the complex due to high affinity of fluoride to titanium. Further protonation of PV dye and dissociation of the lactate ligands from TALH occurred by the acidity. The PV-TALH complex allow to prepare HF sensing dye without complicate chemical synthesis or additional modification. Finally, as a practical application of the PV-TALH complex dye, the naked-eye detection of hydrofluoric acid vapor using a PV-TALH hydrogel was demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalDyes and Pigments
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Korean Research Foundation funded by the Korean government ( NRF-2013R1A1A2006459 ) and by the Human Resources Development of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) granted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of Korean Government (No. 20154010200810 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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