Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Organic Chemistry, Biomolecular Chemistry


Cyanamide was introduced into the rhodamine spirolactam framework to produce a colorless and non-fluorescent compound RBCN. It shows a reversible ring-opening/ring-closure process in response to the solution pH, which exhibits an “ON/OFF” switching in its fluorescence. Different from other rhodamine-type dyes, the ring-open form of RBCN is stable in protic solvents under neutral, near neutral and basic conditions, showing a pink color and very strong fluorescence. We also demonstrated the potential of RBCN in live cell imaging.