Easy Detection of Nitrogen Oxide

Easy Detection of Nitrogen Oxide

Author: David Smith

Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are among the primary pollutants in the atmosphere, causing smog, acid rain, and ozone layer depletion. However, NO also participates in many biological processes. Detecting and monitoring NO by techniques including spectroscopy, luminescence, and electrochemistry has attracted much research interest. Recently, fluorogenic probes for NO detection have been developed. This method is appealing as it can be carried out in situ without sample pre-treatment.

Ana M. Costero and colleagues, Universidad de Valencia and Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, have developed NO sensing probes based on boron dipyrromethene (BODIPY), a well-known fluorophore that absorbs and fluoresces in the visible region and is stable and non-pH-dependent.

The team functionalized BODIPY with a [CuII(bipy)] moiety, which quenches the fluorescence of BODIPY, and exploited the tendency of CuII to undergo reduction to CuI in the presence of NO. Upon reduction, the molecule is demetallated and  fluorescence restored. Using this effect, NO sensing was carried out in the gas phase and in solution. The detection was selective in air and in the presence of gases such as NO2, CO2, H2S, and SO2.


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