A novel terthienyl based fluorescent polymer bearing strong electron-withdrawing substituents directly attached to the 3,4-positions of the central thiophene ring was synthesized by electrochemical polymerization of diethyl 2,5-di(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophen-2-yl)thiophene-3,4-dicarboxylate. The corresponding polymer was characterized by cyclic voltammetry, FT-IR and UV-vis spectroscopy. The polymer has a well-defined redox process (E-p,E-1/2 = 0.74 V) and demonstrates a reversible electrochromic behavior; lilac in the neutral state and transparent sky blue in the oxidized state. Also, the polymer had low band gap (E-g = 1.82 eV) and high redox stability (retaining 94.0% of its electro-activity after 500th switch). Moreover, the sensitivity of both the monomer and its polymer towards metal cations was investigated by monitoring the change in the fluorescence intensity. Among various common ions both the monomer and its polymer were found to be selective towards Cu2+ and Cu+ ions by quenching the fluorescence efficiency with a Stern-Volmer constant (K-sv) of (1.4-1.6 x 10(3) M-1) and (1.5-1.8 x 10(2) M-1) for monomer and polymer solutions, respectively. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.