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Anion Detection by a Fluorescent Poly(squaramide): Self-Assembly of Anion-Binding Sites by Polymer Aggregation

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  • This work was funded by NSERC (Discovery Grants Program), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Province of Ontario, the Connaught Foundation, and the University of Toronto. We are grateful to Prof. Mitch Winnik for advice and for access to instrumentation for GPC, DLS, and fluorescence experiments, to Sandeep Sagoo and Prof. Rebecca Jockusch for ESI-MS experiments, and to Mike Chudzinski for DFT calculations.

Abstract

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Winner by aggregate: Incorporating an anion-binding squaramide group into a polymeric architecture results in drastic alterations in the selectivity and magnitude of its anion-induced response, resulting in a sensitive and discriminating turn-on fluorescence sensor for dihydrogenphosphate ions. This unusual behavior is the result of a cooperative, anion-triggered aggregation process (see picture; scale bar: 1 μm).

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