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In this study, we examine the effect of various anions and temperature on structure and dynamics of 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium ionic liquids (ILs) from molecular dynamics simulations. The structural properties show that ILs containing smaller anions like Cl(-) and Br(-) are relatively higher cation-anion interactions, compared to ILs containing larger anions like OTf(-) and NTf2(-). In all ILs, the spatial distribution of anions is closer to the acidic hydrogen atom of the cation compared to the two nonacidic hydrogen atoms of the cation. The diffusion coefficients of cations and anions (ionic conductivity) increase with anionic size. At each temperature, the cationic and anionic diffusions and ionic conductivity are lowest in ILs containing anions like Cl(-) and Br(-) and highest in ILs containing anions like BF4(-), OTf(-), and NTf2(-). Consistent with experiments, simulations predict that ILs with an intermediate size BF4(-) anion show the highest cationic and anionic diffusion (and ionic conductivity). At each temperature, the interactions between ion pairs of each IL show that a decrease in ion-pair lifetimes is directly related to the increase in diffusion coefficients and conductivity in ILs, suggesting that characterization of ion-pair lifetimes is sufficient to validate the trends seen in dynamical properties of ILs.

Citation

K R Ramya, Praveen Kumar, Arun Venkatnathan. Molecular Simulations of Anion and Temperature Dependence on Structure and Dynamics of 1-Hexyl-3-methylimidazolium Ionic Liquids. The journal of physical chemistry. B. 2015 Nov 19;119(46):14800-6

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PMID: 26507854

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