[structure: see text] The selectivity and sensitivity of a benzothiazolium hemicyanine dye toward mercury(II) in aqueous solutions are described. Mercury ions coordinate to the dye forming a 1:1 complex. This interaction induces a color change in the dye at micromolar concentrations of mercury. Furthermore, the color change and quenching of the dye emission are selective for mercury when compared with other ions such as lead(II), cadmium(II), zinc(II), or iron(II).
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