The journal of physical chemistry. B

Liquid Structure of CO2-Reactive Aprotic Heterocyclic Anion Ionic Liquids from X-ray Scattering and Molecular Dynamics.

PMID 27783512


A combination of X-ray scattering experiments and molecular dynamics simulations were conducted to investigate the structure of ionic liquids (ILs) which chemically bind CO2. The structure functions were measured and computed for four different ILs consisting of two different phosphonium cations, triethyloctylphosphonium ([P2228](+)) and trihexyltetradecylphosphonium ([P66614](+)), paired with two different aprotic heterocyclic anions which chemically react with CO2, 2-cyanopyrrolide, and 1,2,4-triazolide. Simulations were able to reproduce the experimental structure functions, and by deconstructing the simulated structure functions, further information on the liquid structure was obtained. All structure functions of the ILs studied had three primary features which have been seen before in other ILs: a prepeak near 0.3-0.4 Å(-1) corresponding to polar/nonpolar domain alternation, a charge alternation peak near 0.8 Å(-1), and a peak near 1.5 Å(-1) due to interactions of adjacent molecules. The liquid structure functions were only mildly sensitive to the specific anion and whether or not they were reacted with CO2. Upon reacting with CO2, small changes were observed in the structure functions of the [P2228](+) ILs, whereas virtually no change was observed upon reacting with CO2 in the corresponding [P66614](+) ILs. When the [P2228](+) cation was replaced with the [P66614](+) cation, there was a significant increase in the intensities of the prepeak and adjacency interaction peak. While many of the liquid structure functions are similar, the actual liquid structures differ as demonstrated by computed spatial distribution functions.

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