Surfactant-enhanced luminescence lifetime for biomolecular detection on luminescent gold surfaces decorated with transition metal complexes

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  • Warwick University


In the development of sensors based on multimodal detection, luminescent probes are attractive for providing a sensitive signal read-out, based either on intensity, wavelength shift or luminescence lifetime. The implicit simplicity of the devices that can be created is dependent of the judicious design of the multimodal probe. We have used transition metal probes which offer combined versatility due to their electroactive and photoluminescent properties, as well as their sensitivity to local environment. We report the influence of surfactant upon the formation of luminescent surfaces with metal complexes based on ruthenium(II), iridium(III) and osmium(II) bearing surface active groups. The results reveal an enhancement of the luminescence lifetime when a mixed monolayer with surfactant is formed. Characteristically, the luminescence lifetime of the ruthenium tris-bipyridyl complex attached to the gold surface increases from 210 ns to 765 ns in the presence of a fluorinated surfactant. The luminescence signal of the modified gold surfaces is also responsive to bovine serum albumin and fetal bovine serum adsorption, demonstrating interaction of the protein with the metal complex in the presence of the surfactant. The biomolecular interaction with the functionalised surfaces is also evidenced by surface plasmon resonance response.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3251-3257
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2018


  • Luminescence, photophysics, surface, transition metal chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas