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Advances in Chemistry
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6438187, 11 pages
Research Article

A BTT-Based Colorimetric Dual Sensor for Hg(II) and Selected Anions with Molecular Logic Operations

1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Namibia, 340 Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue, Windhoek 9000, Namibia
2College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430072, China

Received 27 February 2016; Accepted 16 May 2016

Academic Editor: Ipsita Banerjee

Copyright © 2016 Veikko Uahengo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A benzotrithiophenes (BTT) based colorimetric sensor (2) was synthesized via a simple one-step reaction process, and its recognition properties towards several biologically important anions and cations were investigated by naked eye observation and spectroscopic methods of UV-vis and 1H NMR analysis in DMSO. The molar addition of anions such as F, AcO, and induced a marked red shift of the charge transfer band ( nm, from 440 nm to 534 nm) concomitant with a clearly visible “naked eye” detectable colorimetric activities (from orange to pink). However, the molar addition of did not induce significant spectral changes, compared to F and AcO. Furthermore, the molar addition of Hg2+ to 2 resulted in hypochromic shift at 440 nm and the eventual disappearance of a low energy band at 534 nm, concomitant with the colorimetric activities (from orange to yellow). Moreover, both spectral and color changes induced by the addition of anions (F and AcO) were all reversible by the molar addition of metal cations of . The reversibility properties triggered the logic operation studies, and, subsequently, the complementary IMP/INH logic functions based on color and spectral switching (ON/OFF) were confirmed. Conclusively, 2 can thus be utilized as a colorimetric molecular switch modulated by AcO/.