Fluorescent chemo-sensor for metal cations based on thiacalix[4]arenes modified with dansyl moieties at the lower rim

Yutaka Higuchi, Miyuki Narita, Tomohiro Niimi, Nobuaki Ogawa, Fumio Hamada, Hitoshi Kumagai, Nobuhiko Iki, Sotaro Miyano, Chizuko Kabuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The selective de-tert-butylation of p-tert-butyl thiacalix[4]arene (p- tert-butyl TCA) with AlCl3 at 80°C has been investigated. Mono-, di-, and tri-p-tert-butyl thiacalix[4]arene (mono-, di- and tri-TCA, respectively) were obtained in yields of 6.5, 20 and 21%, respectively, when p-tert-butyl TCA was treated with 7.1 equiv. of AlCl3 for 30 min. De-tert-butyl TCA (TCA) was exclusively obtained when 10.5 equiv. of AlCl3 was used. These derivatives are converted to fluorescent active derivatives by modification with dansyl moiety at the lower rim, which are used as metal sensors in aqueous solution. The extent of the fluorescent variations with the metal cations was used to display the sensing factors, ΔI/I0. These hosts show much higher sensitivity for transition metal cations such as Co2+, Ni2+, and Cd2+ than those of alkali metal cations such as Li+, Na+, and K+. The effect of p-tert-butyl groups on metal sensing ability of these hosts was studied. It was found that p-tert-butyl groups decrease the sensing ability of these hosts. It is the first example to show that water trouble soluble TCA derivatives can detect metal cations directly in aqueous solution by variation of fluorescence intensity upon addition of a metal cation. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4659-4666
Number of pages8
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jun 30
Externally publishedYes


  • Dansyl moiety
  • P-tert-butyl thiacalix[4]arenes
  • Tri-TCA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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