Novel bis(pyrrole-benzimidazole) (PYBI) conjugates were investigated as colorimetric anion recognition motif by employing multiple donor sites. In this regard, PYBI derivatives where pyrrole unit is connected to the C2 position of benzimidazole via its α-position were synthesized and their anion recognitionbehavior were evaluated by UV-Vis, fluorescence and 1H NMR spectroscopy. PYBI selectively interacts with fluoride ion, whereas introduction of nitro group on the benzimidazole moiety enhances the binding affinity by at least one order, albeit at the expense of the selectivity. Bridging of two PYBIs led to interesting cooperative effect between the two subunits, which gets enhanced upon changing the spacer between the two from nonconjugatingtype (sp3-C) to conjugating one (quinoxaline). This also affects the way they interact with anions, with the latter moiety displaying very interesting stepwise double deprotonation of benzimidazole protons upon addition of fluoride ions with strong colorimetric as well as fluorometric response. Further, acidity of the H-bond donor sites was found to play pivotal role in the anion complexation mechanism and selectivity.
Volume 134, 2022
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