Phosphorescent Iridium(III) Complexes with Acyclic Diaminocarbene Ligands as Chemosensors for Mercury

Anzhelika A. Eremina, Mikhail A. Kinzhalov, Evgene A. Katlenok, Andrey S. Smirnov, Elena V. Andrusenko, Evgeny A. Pidko, Vitalii V. Suslonov, Konstantin V. Luzyanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A new application for bis(cyclometalated) iridium(III) species containing ancillary acyclic diaminocarbene ligands, viz. for sensing of mercury(II) ions, is disclosed. A family of bis(cyclometalated) iridium(III) species supported by both parent isocyanide and acyclic diaminocarbene ligands was prepared, and their electrochemical and photophysical properties were evaluated, revealing efficient blue-green phosphorescence in solution with quantum yields of up to 55%. We uncovered that the photophysical properties of these complexes are dramatically altered by the presence of metal ions and that the complex [Ir(ppy)2(CN){C(NH2)(NHC6H4-4-X)}] with an ADC ligand reacts selectively with Hg2+ ions, enabling its use for sensing of mercury(II) ions in solution. The limit of detection was as low as 2.63 × 10-7 M, and additional mechanistic studies indicated the formation of an unusual dinuclear iridium(III) cyclometalated intermediate, bridged by a mercury dicyano fragment as a driving force of mercury sensing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2209-2222
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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