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Water-Soluble Iridium(III) Complexes Containing Tetraethylene-Glycol-Derivatized Bipyridine Ligands for Electrogenerated Chemiluminescence Detection

journal contribution
posted on 21.12.2020, 05:43 by B Newman, L Chen, LC Henderson, EH Doeven, Paul FrancisPaul Francis, DJ Hayne
© Copyright © 2020 Newman, Chen, Henderson, Doeven, Francis and Hayne. Four cationic heteroleptic iridium(III) complexes containing a 2,2′-bipyridine (bpy) ligand with one or two tetraethylene glycol (TEG) groups attached in the 4 or 4,4′ positions were synthesized to create new water-soluble electrogenerated chemiluminescence (ECL) luminophores bearing a convenient point of attachment for the development of ECL-labels. The novel TEG-derivatized bipyridines were incorporated into [Ir(C∧N)2(R-bpy-R′)]Cl complexes, where C∧N = 2-phenylpyridine anion (ppy) or 2-phenylbenzo[d]thiazole anion (bt), through reaction with commercially available ([Ir(C∧N)2(μ-Cl)]2 dimers. The novel [Ir(C∧N)2(Me-bpy-TEG)]Cl and [Ir(C∧N)2(TEG-bpy-TEG)]Cl complexes in aqueous solution largely retained the redox potentials and emission spectra of the parent [Ir(C∧N)2(Me-bpy-Me)]PF6 (where Me-bpy-Me = 4,4′methyl-2,2′-bipyridine) luminophores in acetonitrile, and exhibited ECL intensities similar to those of [Ru(bpy)3]2+ and the analogous [Ir(C∧N)2(pt-TEG]Cl complexes (where pt-TEG = 1-(TEG)-4-(2-pyridyl)-1,2,3-triazole). These complexes can be readily adapted for bioconjugation and considering the spectral distributions of [Ir(ppy)2(Me-bpy-TEG)]+ and [Ir(ppy)2(pt-TEG)]+, show a viable strategy to create ECL-labels with different emission colors from the same commercial [Ir(ppy)2(μ-Cl)]2 precursor.


This work was funded by the Australian Research Council (DP160103046). LH and DH thank the ARC Training Center for Lightweight Automotive Structures (IC160100032) and the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibers (IH140100018) funded by the Australian Government. LC was supported by a Deakin University International Postgraduate Scholarship.


Publication Date



Frontiers in Chemistry



Article Number



13p. (p. 1-13)


Frontiers Media S.A.



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