This review highlights the research carried out during the last decade or so in the field of anion coordination using cyclen-based lanthanide complexes as luminescent receptors (cyclen = 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane). Herein, the fundamental concepts explaining the particularly good affinity between cyclen derivatives and lanthanides and the way to sense the interaction with anionic substrates are firstly discussed. This is followed by a selection of examples from the recent literature describing these cationic receptors as powerful optical sensors of environmental, biological and pharmaceutical relevance.
Keywords: Lanthanides, cyclen, anions, complexation, detection, luminescence, sensors, thiocyanate, polycarboxylates, metalloreceptors
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