The effect of dispersion forces on the interaction energies and far infrared spectra of protic ionic liquids†
We could show by means of dispersion-corrected DFT calculations that the interaction energy in protic ionic liquids can be dissected into Coulomb interaction, hydrogen bonding and dispersion interaction. The H-bond energy as well as the dispersion energy can be quantified to be 50 kJ mol−1 each representing ten percent of the overall interaction energy. The dispersion interaction could be dissected into two portions. One third could be related to the dispersion interaction within an ion-pair enhancing the H-bond strength, two thirds stem from dispersion interaction between the ion-pairs. This distribution of dispersion interaction is reflected in the far infrared (FIR) spectra. The H-bond band is shifted weaker than the low frequency band where the latter indicates diffuse cation–anion interaction and H-bond bending motions. Finally, we can dissect the different types of interaction energies indicating their characteristic influence on vibrational modes in the FIR.