Gas detection by structural variations of fluorescent guest molecules in a flexible porous coordination polymer

Nobuhiro Yanai, Koji Kitayama, Yuh Hijikata, Hiroshi Sato, Ryotaro Matsuda, Yoshiki Kubota, Masaki Takata, Motohiro Mizuno, Takashi Uemura, Susumu Kitagawa

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276 Citations (Scopus)


The development of a new methodology for visualizing and detecting gases is imperative for various applications. Here, we report a novel strategy in which gas molecules are detected by signals from a reporter guest that can read out a host structural transformation. A composite between a flexible porous coordination polymer and fluorescent reporter distyrylbenzene (DSB) selectively adsorbed CO2 over other atmospheric gases. This adsorption induced a host transformation, which was accompanied by conformational variations of the included DSB. This read-out process resulted in a critical change in DSB fluorescence at a specific threshold pressure. The composite shows different fluorescence responses to CO2 and acetylene, compounds that have similar physicochemical properties. Our system showed, for the first time, that fluorescent molecules can detect gases without any chemical interaction or energy transfer. The host-guest coupled transformations play a pivotal role in converting the gas adsorption events into detectable output signals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-793
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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