Sensitive fluorescent chemosensor for Hg(II) in aqueous solution using 4’-dimethylaminochalcone

Marco Mellado, Nicole Roldán, Rodrigo Miranda, Luis F. Aguilar, Manuel A. Bravo, Waldo Quiroz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mercury (Hg) is an element with high toxicity, especially to the nervous system, and fluorescent pigments are used to visualize dynamic processes in living cells. A little explored fluorescent core is chalcone. Herein, we synthesized chalcone (2E)-3-(4-(dimethylamino)phenyl)-1-phenylprop-2-en-1-one (8) and assessed its photophysical properties. Moreover, the application of this chemosensor in aqueous media shows a selective fluorescence quenching effect with Hg(II). The figures of merit for the chemosensor were calculated to be LOD = 136 nM and LOQ = 454 nM, as well as a stoichiometry of 1:1. Furthermore, the association constant (Ka) and fluorescence quenching constant (KSV) were calculated using the Benesi–Hildebrand and Stern–Volmer equations to be Ka= 9.08 × 104 and KSV= 1.60 × 105, respectively. Finally, by using a computational approach, we explain the interaction between chalcone (8) and Hg(II) and propose a potential quenching mechanism based on the blocking of photoinduced electron transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1449-1456
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Fluorescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Chalcone
  • Mercury(II)
  • Selective fluorescence quenching
  • chemosensor


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