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G-, V-, and A-series nerve agents are extremely toxic organophosphorus chemical warfare agents (CWAs) that incorporate P═O functional groups. Their colorless, tasteless, and odorless nature makes rapid and efficient detection challenging. Here, we report an unprecedented N-triflyl phosphoric triamide (N-TPT) receptor, which is a new class of triple hydrogen bonding donor molecular sensors for CWA recognition via noncovalent host-guest-type interactions. The highly robust trifurcate structures were designed based on density functional theory (DFT) computations and synthesized from N-triflyl phosphorimidoyl trichloride by simple stepwise processes. Quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) analysis allowed robust detection of typical CWA simulants, such as dimethyl methylphosphonate. The concentration-dependent QCM profiles were fitted with the Sips isotherm model, revealing that the thermodynamic parameters of the binding behaviors are roughly correlated with the calculated results. Developed N-TPT receptors show higher binding abilities than previously reported receptors and reasonable selectivity over other volatile compounds.


Jin Hyun Park, Sun Gu Song, Myoung Hyeon Shin, Changsik Song, Han Yong Bae. N-Triflyl Phosphoric Triamide: A High-Performance Purely Organic Trifurcate Quartz Crystal Microbalance Sensor for Chemical Warfare Agent. ACS sensors. 2022 Feb 25;7(2):423-429

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PMID: 35119283

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