A ratiometric fluorescence sensor for caffeine
The dye disodium 3,4:3’,4’-bibenzo[b]thiophene-2,2’-disulfonate can be used as molecular probe for the fluorimetric detection of caffeine in aqueous solution. The fluorescence response is attributed to non-covalent interactions of caffeine with the dye in the ground state and in the excited state. The bimodal interaction allows performing ratiometric measurements with very good selectivity over structurally related analytes. The dye was also used to develop a simple test strip for the visual differentiation of normal and decaffeinated coffee with a standard UV lamp.