Endo- and Exo-Functionalized Tetraphenylethylene M12L24 Nanospheres: Fluorescence Emission inside a Confined Space

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The intrinsic relationship between the properties of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and its encapsulated small molecular light machine has spurred many biomimicking studies, aiming at revealing the detailed mechanism and further promoting its wide applications in different disciplines. However, how to build a similar confined microenvironment to mimic the cavity of a β-barrel and the fluorescence turn-on process is a fundamental challenge for both chemists and biologists. Herein, two distinct exo- and endo-functionalized tetraphenylethylene (TPE)-based M12L24 nanospheres with precise distribution of anchored TPE moieties and unique photophysical properties were constructed by means of a coordination-driven self-assembly strategy. Under dilute conditions, the nanospheres fluoresce more strongly than the corresponding TPE subcomponents. Meanwhile, the endo-functionalized sphere is able to induce a higher local concentration and more restrained motion of the enclosed 24 TPE units compared with exo-functionalized counterpart and thus induces much stronger emission due to the restriction of the rotation of the pendant TPE units. The biomimetic methodology developed here represents a promising way to understand and construct artificial GFP materials on the platforms of supramolecular coordination complexes.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of the American Chemical Society, v. 141, issue 24, p. 9673-9679