Polymers (Basel). 2022 May 13;14(10):1997. doi: 10.3390/polym14101997.
An effective strategy was developed to fabricate novel lanthanide ions-pyromellitic acid-methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) (Ln-PMA-MPEG) nano-assemblies. The amphiphilic partially esterified derivative (PMA-MPEG) of pyromellitic acid with methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) was designed and synthesized via the coupling reaction. Ln-PMA-MPEG nano-assemblies were rapidly fabricated using PMA-MPEG as a polymer ligand with Eu3+ ions or mixed Eu3+/Tb3+ ions through biomimetic mineralization in neutral aqueous systems. The size of the as-prepared materials could be designed in the range 80-200 nm with a uniform distribution. The materials were readily dispersed in various solvents and displayed visible color variations and different photoluminescent properties for solvent recognition. The mixed Eu/Tb-PMA-MPEG nanomaterials were investigated as ratiometric sensors for the detection of trace water in DMF and Fe3+ ions in aqueous solutions. The sensor materials can quantitatively detect trace water in DMF from 0% to 10% (v/v). The resultant materials also display a strong correlation between the double luminescence intensity ratios (ITb/IEu) and Fe3+ concentration, with a good linear detection concentration in the range of 0-0.24 mM and a limit of detection of 0.46 μM, and other metal ions did not interfere with the sensing mechanism for Fe3+ ions. The novel nano-assemblies have potential applications as ratiometric fluorescent nanosensors in the chemical industry as well as in biomedical fields.