Fluorescent Molecular Rotors for Viscosity Sensors

Seung Chul Lee, Jeongyun Heo, Hee Chul Woo, Ji Ah Lee, Young Hun Seo, Chang Lyoul Lee, Sehoon Kim, O. Pil Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

47 Citations (Scopus)


Fluorescent molecular rotors (FMRs) can act as viscosity sensors in various media including subcellular organelles and microfluidic channels. In FMRs, the rotation of rotators connected to a fluorescent π-conjugated bridge is suppressed by increasing environmental viscosity, resulting in increasing fluorescence (FL) intensity. In this minireview, we describe recently developed FMRs including push–pull type π-conjugated chromophores, meso-phenyl (borondipyrromethene) (BODIPY) derivatives, dioxaborine derivatives, cyanine derivatives, and porphyrin derivatives whose FL mechanism is viscosity-responsive. In addition, FMR design strategies for addressing various issues (e.g., obtaining high FL contrast, internal FL references, and FL intensity-contrast trade-off) and their biological and microfluidic applications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13706-13718
Number of pages13
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number52
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 18


  • fluorescence dynamics
  • fluorescent molecular rotors
  • microviscosity
  • molecular rotors
  • viscosity sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Fluorescent Molecular Rotors for Viscosity Sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Lee, S. C., Heo, J., Woo, H. C., Lee, J. A., Seo, Y. H., Lee, C. L., Kim, S., & Kwon, O. P. (2018). Fluorescent Molecular Rotors for Viscosity Sensors. Chemistry - A European Journal, 24(52), 13706-13718. https://doi.org/10.1002/chem.201801389