Fluorescence of Naphthoquinones


ATTEMPTS to devise a method for the identification of vitamin K1 and other naphthoquinones by filter-paper chromatography led to the chance observation that some of these compounds exhibit a characteristic fluorescence which can be used for their detection. 10 µgm. of vitamin K1 was chromatographed in a 75 per cent (v/v) aqueous ethanol solution on Whatman No. 1 filter-paper impregnated with silicone. When the paper was dried and held before an ultraviolet lamp (3665 A.), an area of red fluorescence was seen at R F 0.20. With prolonged exposure to the ultra-violet radiation (45–60 sec.), the red fluorescence changed irreversibly to an intense, green fluorescence which was stable for at least four months. When sprayed with alcoholic potassium hydroxide, the green fluorescence changed to an orange fluorescence.

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    Pringsheim, P., “Fluorescence and Phosphorescence” (Interscience, New York, 1949).

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GREEN, J. Fluorescence of Naphthoquinones. Nature 174, 369 (1954) doi:10.1038/174369a0

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