Elucidating the Mechanism of Copper-Induced Photoluminescence Quenching in 2-Phenylbenzimidazole-5-Sulfonic Acid

J Fluoresc. 2024 Apr 29. doi: 10.1007/s10895-024-03704-x. Online ahead of print.


To explore the possible impact of 2-Phenylbenzimidazole-5-sulfonic acid (PBSA) on the function of a sunscreen, in this work we investigate the binding of copper metal ions (Cu2+) to PBSA. Due to the existence of an intrinsic interaction phenomenon between Cu2+ ions and PBSA molecules, the photoluminescence (PL) quenching arises owing to the charge transfer from PBSA to Cu2+ ions. The mechanism of fluorescence quenching is probed experimentally following excitation at 306 nm by evaluating various quenching parameters with the help of the Stern-Volmer plot. Through the assessment of the values of the Stern-Volmer constant ( K SV = 45.2 M - 1 ) and bimolecular quenching rate constant ( k q = 0.77 × 10 10 M - 1 . s - 1 ), it is deduced that the dynamic mode of PL quenching is operative between PBSA and Cu2+ ions. We evaluate the number of binding sites (n = 1) that advocate the presence of a single binding site in PBSA for Cu2+ ions. The numerical value of standard Gibbs free energy change, Δ G o ~ -27.485 kJ.mol-1 implies the spontaneous binding between Cu2+ ions and PBSA molecules. The results obtained give an insight into the mechanism of metal-induced PL quenching of water soluble PBSA sunscreen.

Keywords: 2-Phenylbenzimidazole-5-sulfonic acid; Dynamic quenching; PBSA; Photoluminescence quenching; Stern–Volmer plot.