Optical sensing of copper (II) ions using a biofunctional bolaamphiphile self-assembly: Selective binding of copper (II) ions to tyrosine moieties

Sunhyung Kim, Jinyoung Kwak, Sang Yup Lee

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5 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate that a photoluminescent self-assembly of tyrosyl bolaamphiphilic molecules functions as a selective chemosensor of Cu 2+ ions. Fluorescence of the photoluminescent self-assembly, which was prepared by association of tyrosyl bolaamphiphilic molecules with Tb 3+ ion and salicylic acid (SA), was sensitively quenched by Cu 2+ ions, facilitating optical detection. Fluorescence spectroscopy analysis of quenching revealed a static quenching mechanism that involved coordination of a Cu2+ ion with the phenol group of a tyrosyl moiety, interfering with the π-π* transition of the phenyl ring. Thus, fluorescence quenching was driven by a reduction in the antenna effect of the tyrosyl moiety as well as by the paramagnetic nature of the Cu2+ ion. XPS spectroscopy results confirmed coordination of the Cu2+ ion with the phenol group. As an optical chemosensor, the photoluminescent tyrosyl bolaamphiphile assembly responded quickly (<1 min) to the addition of Cu 2+ ions, and selectively recognized Cu2+ ions at the ppm level amongst diverse cations with distinguishable fluorescence quenching. The presence of other cations did not interfere with Cu2+ ion recognition, demonstrating the high selectivity of detection. Photoluminescence was recovered after chemical disintegration of Cu2+ ions from the assembly; the tyrosyl bolaamphiphile self-assembly platform presented in this study can therefore function as a reusable optical chemosensor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and technology ( 2012R1A1A2008543 ).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • 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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