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Keywords:

  • alkali metals;
  • alkaline earth metals;
  • molecular switches;
  • proton transfer;
  • tautomerism
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Good form: Attaching a flexible piperidine unit to 4-(phenyldiazenyl)naphthalen-1-ol allows construction of a tautomeric switch, where directed shift of the tautomeric equilibrium can be achieved through protonation and deprotonation (see picture). The developed molecular switch shows acceptable complexation with small alkali- and alkaline-earth-metal ions and forms a promising base for further development of effective molecular sensors.