Novel Iron(III)-Based Metal–Organic Gels with Superior Catalytic Performance toward Luminol Chemiluminescence

Novel metal–organic gels (MOGs) consisting of iron (Fe<sup>3+</sup>) as the central ion and 1,10-phenanthroline-2,9-dicarboxylic acid (PDA) as the ligand were synthesized by a mild facile strategy. The Fe­(III)-containing metal–organic xerogels (Fe–MOXs), obtained after removing the solvents in MOGs, were found to exhibit outstanding performance in the catalysis of luminol chemiluminescence (CL) for the first time even in the absence of extra oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide. The possible CL mechanism was discussed according to the electro/optical measurements, including electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), UV–vis absorption, and CL spectra, as well as the effects of radical scavengers on Fe–MOXs-catalyzed luminol CL system, suggesting that the CL emission of luminol might originate from the intrinsic oxidase-like catalytic activity of Fe–MOXs on the decomposition of dissolved oxygen. Additionally, the potential practical application of the resulting luminol–Fe–MOXs system was evaluated by the quantitative analysis of dopamine. Good linearity over the range from 0.05 to 0.6 μM was obtained with the limit of detection (LOD, 3σ) of 20.4 nM and acceptable recoveries ranging from 98.6 to 105.4% in human urine. These results may open up the promising application of novel metal–organic gels as highly effective catalysts in the field of chemiluminescence.