Optical and Redox Sensors for Metal Ions

  • D. Max Roundhill
Part of the Modern Inorganic Chemistry book series (MICE)


Optical and redox sensors are materials that have a wide range of uses and applications in both medical and environmental situations. Sensors can be designed to make use of changes in either the wavelength or extinction coefficient of an optical sensing material, or in the redox potential of an electroactive compound. Alternatively for emissive materials, it is possible to use changes in the emission wavelength or intensities to monitor the presence or absence of chemical species. These chemical species for both and redox sensors can be cations, anions, or organic molecules. For a sensor to be useful it is necessary for the device to be selective for the specific chemical species of interest, and that the change in the property of the sensing material be responsive in a consistent manner to changes in concentration of the chemical species being detected or analyzed.1–8 The sensing component is referred to as the reporter molecule. For optical reporter molecules the material needs to be photostable, and for redox reporters the oxidation-reduction step should be reversible. For metal ion sensors a binding site needs to be present that is selective for the targeted metal. In such sensors it is usual to employ chelate or macrocyclic ligands because they can be tailored to selectively complex a variety of different metal ions. For the detection of uncharged molecules a host will usually be selected such that its cavity matches the shape and size of the chosen guest. More recently, metal-containing optical sensors are being developed that can function as anion selective receptors, and again the receptor must be specifically designed to meet the binding requirements of the individual anions.9


Crown Ether Dihydrogen Phosphate Lone Electron Pair Photoinduced Electron Transfer Fluorescent Sensor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Max Roundhill
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

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