Structure and lifetimes in ionic liquids and their mixtures†
With the aid of molecular dynamics simulations, we study the structure and dynamics of different ionic liquid systems, with focus on hydrogen bond, ion pair and ion cage formation. To do so, we report radial distribution functions, their number integrals, and various time–correlation functions, from which we extract well-defined lifetimes by means of the reactive flux formalism. We explore the influence of polarizable force fields vs. non-polarizable ones with downscaled charges (±0.8) for the example of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide. Furthermore, we use 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium trifluoromethanesulfonate to investigate the impact of temperature and mixing with water as well as with the chloride ionic liquid. Smaller coordination numbers, larger distances, and tremendously accelerated dynamics are observed when the polarizable force field is applied. The same trends are found with increasing temperature. Adding water decreases the ion–ion coordination numbers whereas the water–ion and water–water coordination is enhanced. A domain analysis reveals that the nonpolar parts of the ions are dispersed and when more water is added the water clusters increase in size. The dynamics accelerate in general upon addition of water. In the ionic liquid mixture, the coordination number around the cation changes between the two anions, but the number integrals of the cation around the anions remain constant and the dynamics slow down with increasing content of the chloride ionic liquid.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Ionic liquids: from fundamental properties to practical applications