Analytical Chemistry

Lighting up Electrochemiluminescent Inactive Dyes by Intramolecular Resonance Energy Transfer



By virtue of near-zero optical background and photobleaching, electrochemiluminescence (ECL), an optical phenomenon excited by electrochemical reactions, has drawn extensive attention in both fundamental studies and wide applications especially of ultrasensitive bioassay. Developing diverse ECL emitters is crucial to unlock their multiformity and performances, but remains a formidable challenge, due to the rigorous requirements for ECL. Herein, we report a general intramolecular ECL resonance energy transfer (iECL-RET) strategy to light up ECL-inactive dyes in aqueous solutions using an existing high-performance ECL initiators. As a proof-of-concept, a series of luminol donor-dye acceptor based ECL emitters with near unity RET efficiency and coarse/fine tunable emission wavelengths were demonstrated. Different to previous exploitation of new molecule single-handedly to address all the prerequisites of ECL, each unit in the proposed ECL ensemble performed maximally its own functions. The iECL-RET strategy would greatly expand the family members of ECL emitters for more demanding future applications.


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Supplementary material

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Supporting information
Experimental details, supporting figures, tables and references