Discovery of new, selective, and ultra-sensitive probes that can detect toxic species for human health and environmental protection has gained considerable interest in recent years. Among these species, beryllium has a great importance because of its extreme toxicity. This metal is known as the most toxic element without radioactivity although it has widespread applications in various industrial areas. It is categorized in the 2A group as a cancer-causing substance, and its maximum allowable exposure to the environment is 100 times less than lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd), which are also considered as highly toxic.
Yılmaz group designs new multi-channel sensor molecules based on phthalocyanines, rhodamines, naphthoquinones, and chromenylium−cyanines for toxic metals in environment and bioimaging application in living cell. Recently, Özgür Yavuz and colleagues under the supervision of Prof. Dr. İsmail Yılmaz designed and successfully applied phthalocyanine-based chemical sensors for the selective and sensitive determination of toxic Be2+. As a result of derivatization of the phthalocyanine macrocycle with groups of suitable chelating unit (benzo-9-crown-3) with a convenient size for Be2+ and dimethylamino phenyl which is utilized to make the Pc water-soluble after quarternization step, new symmetrical A4 type and unsymmetrical A3B type of NIR-supramolecular multi-channel sensors were developed to recognize the ultra-trace amount of Be2+ in THF and aqueous media. Also, contribution of Dr. Kerem Kaya for the structural elucidation of the ligand by X-Ray crystallography and the theoretical contributions of Prof. Dr. Nurcan Şenyurt Tüzün and Yılmaz Özkılıç on the ligand properties and metal-ligand interactions have added great value to the studies. As a result of great efforts, these studies have been published in Inorganic Chemistry and Sensors and Actuators-B journals, which are the most prestigious and high-impact journals in the field of inorganic chemistry and sensors. We believe these studies will certainly guide the development of a new approach for the design and synthesis of new water-soluble Pc and porphyrins for multi-channel and ratiometric sensor applications.