Rapid relaxation NMR measurements to predict rate coefficients in ionic liquid mixtures. An examination of reaction outcome changes in a homologous series of ionic liquids†
A series of ionic liquids based on the 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium cations were examined as components of the solvent mixture for a bimolecular substitution process. The effects on both the rate coefficient of the process and the NMR spin–spin relaxation of the solvent components of changing either the alkyl chain length or the amount of ionic liquid in the reaction mixture were determined. At a constant mole fraction, a shorter alkyl chain length resulted in a greater rate coefficient enhancement and a longer relaxation time, with the opposite effects for a longer alkyl chain length. For a given ionic liquid, increasing the proportion of salt in the reaction mixture resulted in a greater rate coefficient and a shorter relaxation time. The microscopic origins of the rate coefficient enhancement were determined and a step change found in the activation parameters on increasing the alkyl chain length from hexyl to octyl, suggesting notable structuring in solution. Across a range of ionic liquids and solvent compositions, the relaxation time from NMR measurements was shown to relate to the reaction rate coefficient. The approach of using fast and simple NMR relaxation measurements to predict reaction outcomes was exemplified using a morpholinium-based ionic liquid.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Non-traditional solvent effects in organic reactions