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Keywords:

  • calorimetry;
  • DNA binding;
  • light-switch effect;
  • luminescence;
  • ruthenium
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Cool to switch on: Although a Ru(dppz)-based complex binds to the grooves of duplex DNA at room temperature and above, it intercalates into duplex DNA at 10 °C, thus displaying a light-switch effect (see picture, dppz=dipyridylphenazine). Furthermore, once intercalated at low temperatures, emission does not disappear, even after the bound complex is warmed up to 35 °C for several hours.