Design, synthesis and application of carbazole macrocycles in anion sensors

Our supramolecular analytical chemistry team has published an article (Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2020, 16, 1901-1914) about developing carboxylate sensor prototypes that use macrocyclic carbazole receptors as ionophores.

Usually, reported research concludes with the demonstration of binding abilities of receptors and only suggests possible applications at a theoretical level. This work stands out from most publications by incorporating the entire workflow from receptor design to the characterisation of working sensor prototypes.

By involving this additional step, the team demonstrated the shortcoming of evaluating binding with just the receptor and analyte in solution. The predictions of selectivity can change considerably when measuring binding in an actual sensor membrane. This does not mean that such binding measurements would be obsolete, as the issue of binding anions selectively remains relevant in supramolecular chemistry.

The work was published in collaboration with the group of prof. Johan Bobacka at Åbo Akademi. The open access article was published in the Beilstein Journal of Chemistry thematic issue “Molecular Recognition” (in memory of Prof. Carsten Schmuck).

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