Surfactant-induced excimer emission: A versatile platform for the design of fluorogenic probes

Jihee Park, Tae Il Kim, Siyoung Cho, Anup Pandith, Youngmi Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We report that the electrostatic association between a cyanovinylene (CV)-based cationic dye (CV–N+) and anionic surfactants rapidly induced the formation of self-assembled aggregates of CV-N+ molecules in an aqueous solution, displaying a red-shifted (Δλ = 100 nm), broad excimer emission at 650 nm. The anionic-surfactant-mediated excimer-forming properties of CV-N+ were further exploited as a versatile platform for the design of simple fluorescent “light-up” sensing systems for the specific and efficient detection of enzymatic activity (i.e., phospholipase D) and small molecules (i.e., bisulfite ions), respectively, without the complicated functionalization of fluorophores with suitable recognition groups. In these systems, which can be ensembled using various substrates, the cationic CV-N+ dye interacts with an anionic surfactant, which is the product of an analyte-induced specific reaction, thus triggering the formation of emissive aggregates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121749
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggregate-induced emission
  • Bisulfite ions
  • Excimer emission
  • Fluorescent sensing
  • Phospholipase D
  • Surfactants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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