Reinvestigation of the Synthesis of "Covalent-Assembly" Type Probes for Fluoride Ion Detection. Identification of Novel 7-(Diethylamino)coumarins with Aggregation-Induced Emission Properties

An unprecedented C-3 functionalization of 4-(diethylamino)salicylaldehyde through a Friedel-Crafts type alkylation reaction has been discovered during the synthesis of "covalent-assembly"-based fluorescent probes for detection of fluoride ions. The resulting Friedel-Crafts adduct was successfully used for the preparation of two novel 8-substituted 7-(diethylamino)coumarin dyes. The photophysical study of these fluorophores has enabled us to highlight their remarkable aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties characterized by a yellow-orange emission of aggregates in water. Therefore, 4-(tert butyldimethylsilyloxy)benzyl substituent was identified as a novel AIE-active moiety which could be seen as a possible alternative to popular tetraphenylethylene (TPE).