A novel "naked-eye" and ratiometric fluorescent zinc sensor (AQZ) of carboxamidoquinoline with an alkoxyethylamino chain as receptor was designed and synthesized. AQZ shows good water solubility and high selectivity for sensing; about an 8-fold increase in fluorescence quantum yield and a 75 nm red-shift of fluorescence emission upon binding Zn2+ in buffer aqueous solution are observed. Moreover, AQZ can enter yeast cells and signal the presence of Zn2+.
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