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Issue 34, 2017
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Probing the microscopic structural organization of neat ionic liquids (ILs) and ionic liquid-based gels through resonance energy transfer (RET) studies

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Abstract

With the aim to understand the role of the ionic constituents of ionic liquids (ILs) in their structural organization, resonance energy transfer (RET) studies between ionic liquids (donor) and rhodamine 6G (acceptor) have been investigated. RET studies have been exploited for the present investigation due to the fact that the said process is extremely sensitive to the distance, and a change in the donor–acceptor distance due to a change in the structural organization can be probed. Basically, steady state and time-resolved fluorescence measurements have been carried out in two different sets of ILs, where in one set (1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium alkyl sulfate) the alkyl side chain length on the anionic moiety is systematically varied and in the other set variation is done on the cation (aromatic and nonaromatic). The data related to the RET events have been analyzed in light of Förster theory. A clear rise time in the fluorescence intensity decay profile of the acceptor has unequivocally established the RET process between the donor and acceptor. Interestingly, the rise times and energy transfer efficiencies are also observed to vary with a variation in the alkyl chain length as well as the nature of the cations. More interestingly, the donor–acceptor distance (RDA) is observed to increase from 35.0 Å to 47.5 Å upon increasing the anion chain length from ethyl to octyl. However, RDA is found to decrease (40.5 Å to 34.9 Å) upon going from 1-methyl-3-butylimidazolium to 1-butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium cations. The variation of the relevant RET parameters for the two sets of ILs has been rationalized by considering the change in the structural organization of the respective set of ILs. Additionally, observation of the RET process also in an IL-based gel system indicates the potential use of this fluorescent gel material for future applications.

Graphical abstract: Probing the microscopic structural organization of neat ionic liquids (ILs) and ionic liquid-based gels through resonance energy transfer (RET) studies

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Jul 2017, accepted on 09 Aug 2017 and first published on 09 Aug 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04728B
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 23194-23203
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    Probing the microscopic structural organization of neat ionic liquids (ILs) and ionic liquid-based gels through resonance energy transfer (RET) studies

    D. Majhi and M. Sarkar, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 23194
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP04728B

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