Chemical warfare agents (CWAs) such as phosgene and nerve agents pose serious threats to our lives and public security, but no tools can simultaneously screen multiple CWAs in seconds. Here, we rationally designed a robust sensing platform based on 8-cyclohexanyldiamino-BODIPY (BODIPY-DCH) to monitor diverse CWAs in different emission channels. Trans-cyclohexanyldiamine as the reactive site provides optimal geometry and high reactivity, allowing trans-BODIPY-DCH to detect CWAs with a quick response and high sensitivity, while cis-BODIPY-DCH has much weaker reactivity to CWAs due to intramolecular H-bonding. Upon reaction with phosgene, trans-BODIPY-DCH was rapidly converted to imidazolone BODIPY (<3 s), triggering green fluorescence with good sensitivity (LOD = 0.52 nM). trans-BODIPY-DCH coupled with nerve agent mimics, affording a blue fluorescent 8-amino-BODIPY tautomer. Furthermore, a portable test kit using trans-BODIPY-DCH displayed an instant response and low detection limits for multiple CWAs. This platform enables rapid and highly sensitive visual screening of various CWAs.
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