New brightly coloured, water soluble, core-substituted naphthalene diimides for biophysical applications

Heather Fay Higginbotham, Subashani Maniam, Steven James Langford, Toby Desmond Maynard Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Symmetrically and dissymmetrically core-substituted amino naphthalene diimides (cNDIs) with water-soluble substituents have been synthesised. The compounds display characteristic steady-state optical properties absorbing and emitting light in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Time-resolved fluorescence studies reveal long emission lifetimes of ∼10 ns in chloroform, ∼8 ns in methanol and ∼4 ns in water. Suitability for use in biophysical applications is demonstrated by encapsulation into reverse micelles and liposomes. Fluorescence lifetime is shown to indicate cavity size in the reverse micelles and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy measurements of cNDI loaded liposomes successfully determined diffusion coefficients and hydrodynamic radii of the liposomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
JournalDyes and Pigments
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Naphthalene diimide
  • Red emission
  • Water soluble
  • Time-resolved fluorescence
  • Reverse micelle
  • Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy

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