Copoly(p-phenylene) (P1) containing pendent azacrown ether and ethylene glycol ether was prepared by the Suzuki coupling reaction and applied for chemical sensor. Poly(p-phenylene) derivative P0 without the azacrown ether groups were also synthesized for comparative study. The photophysical and sensing properties were investigated by absorption and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy to elucidate the influence of the azacrown ether groups. The P1 exhibited specific selectivity and high sensitivity toward Zn2+, with the Stern-Volmer coefficient (Ksv) being 3.66 × 106 M−1 at low concentration in mixture solvent of tetrahydrofuran and water (THF/H2O = 9/1, v/v). The P1 maintained high selectivity toward Zn2+ in the presence of fifteen interfering metal cations. This results indicate that copoly(p-phenylene) (P1) is a promising functional material for chemical sensors. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2013, 51, 3975–3984
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