Fluorescent coatings for chemical sensing

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Francisco M. Raymo, Committee Chair


One- and two-step strategies were developed to deposit fluorescent coatings on different solid supports, such as quartz, glass and silica particles. Electron deficient 2,7-diazapyrenium derivatives were synthesized and used as receptors because their interaction with electron rich substrates can be monitored by fluorescence measurements. The hydroxylated surfaces were chemically modified by silanization or using a sol-gel process. After immobilization of the receptor, the modified supports were characterized by appropriate analytical methods including absorption and emission spectroscopies, fluorescence microscopy, among others. The application of the fluorescent coatings for the detection of dopamine was studied. The supramolecular assembly formed by the receptor and the analyte at the solid/water interface produces a decrease in the fluorescence intensity, which is proportional to the analyte concentration. Model binding studies with catechol and propylamine revealed that the interfacial complexation of dopamine is dominated by the interaction of its electron rich dioxyarene fragment with the electron deficient fluorophore in neutral aqueous environment. These sensitive coatings are promising materials for the fabrication of catecholamines neurotransmitters sensors.


Chemistry, Analytical; Chemistry, Organic; Chemistry, Physical

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