Synthesis and sensing applications of highly luminescent complexes of Ruthenium, Iridium and Platinum

The detection of biologically and environmentally relevant molecules, at ultralow concentration demands the development of new luminophores and electrochemiluminophores with intense emission in a variety of colours. Cyclometallated Ir(III) complexes such as Ir(ppy)3 and Ir(ppy)2(L)+, where ppy = 2-phenylpyridine and L is an auxiliary ligand such as a derivative of triazole, bipyridine or phenanthroline, display an intriguing combination of luminescent and electrochemical properties. The electrochemiluminescence (ECL) of these compounds, where the excited state is formed by applying a suitable voltage, can be quite exceptional.

We seek to tune the luminescent and redox characteristics of these complexes by varying one or more of the ligands. The colour of the emission, for example, can be varied from blue to red. There is a vast range of possibilities for novel, highly luminescent sensing molecules based on bis- or tris- cyclometallated complexes.