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Durham University

Department of Chemistry

Publication details for Prof. J.A. Gareth Williams

Parker, D., Williams, J. A. G. & Walter, E. R. H. (2018). Tuning Mg2+ selectivity: comparative analysis of the photophysical properties of four fluorescent probes with an alkynyl-naphthalene fluorophore. Chemistry - A European Journal 24(24): 6432-6441.

Author(s) from Durham


Four alkynyl‐1‐naphthyl fluorophores have been synthesised with tri‐ or pentadentate ligating groups suited to the binding of magnesium. Their photophysical and binding properties for magnesium, calcium and zinc ions have been assessed using absorption, emission and excitation spectroscopy. Each compound has a pKa value between 6.2 and 5.1 and exhibits no significant pH response around pH 7.2. Enhanced selectivity for Mg2+ over Ca2+ was observed with a pentadentate phosphinate substituted system, compared to its carboxylate analogue, due to a 10‐fold lowering of affinity for the Ca2+ ion. In each case, the overall dissociation constants for Mg2+ fall in the low mM range.