A rapidly-reversible absorptive and emissive vapochromic Pt(II) pincer based chemical sensor

Mathew Bryant, Jonathan Skelton, Lauren Hatcher, Clare Stubbs, Elena Madrid, Anuradha R. Pallipurath, Lynne Thomas, Christopher Woodall, Jeppe Christensen, Sara Fuertes, Thomas Robinson, Christine M. Beavers, Simon J Teat, Mark R Warren, Fabienne Pradaux-Caggiano, Aron Walsh, Frank Marken, David Carbery, Stephen Parker, Neil B. MckeownRichard Malpass-evans, Mariolino Carta, Paul Raithby

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Selective, robust and cost-effective chemical sensors for detecting small volatile-organic compounds (VOCs) have widespread applications in industry, healthcare and environmental monitoring. Here we design a Pt(II) pincer-type material with selective absorptive and emissive responses to methanol and water. The yellow anhydrous form converts reversibly on a subsecond timescale to a red hydrate in the presence of parts-per-thousand levels of atmospheric water vapour. Exposure to methanol induces a similarly-rapid and reversible colour change to a blue methanol solvate. Stable smart coatings on glass demonstrate robust switching over 104 cycles, and flexible microporous polymer membranes incorporating microcrystals of the complex show identical vapochromic behaviour. The rapid vapochromic response can be rationalized from the crystal structure, and in combination with quantum-chemical modelling we provide a complete microscopic picture of the switching mechanism. We discuss how this multiscale design approach can be used to obtain new compounds with tailored VOC selectivity and spectral responses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1800
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Early online date27 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)


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  • Data for "A rapidly-reversible absorptive and emissive vapochromic Pt(II) pincer-based chemical sensor"

    Bryant, M. (Data Collector), Skelton, J. (Creator), Hatcher, L. (Project Member), Stubbs, C. (Project Member), Madrid, E. (Project Member), R. Pallipurath, A. (Project Member), Thomas, L. (Project Member), Woodall, C. (Project Member), Christensen, J. (Project Member), Fuertes, S. (Project Member), Robinson, T. (Project Member), Beavers, C. (Project Member), Teat, S. J. (Project Member), Warren, M. (Project Member), Pradaux-Caggiano, F. (Project Member), Walsh, A. (Project Member), Marken, F. (Project Member), Carbery, D. (Project Member), Parker, S. (Project Member), Mckeown, N. B. (Project Member), Malpass-evans, R. (Project Member), Carta, M. (Project Member) & Raithby, P. (Project Leader), University of Bath, 27 Nov 2017


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