Classical density functional theory & simulations on a coarse-grained model of aromatic ionic liquids†
A new classical density functional approach is developed to accurately treat a coarse-grained model of room temperature aromatic ionic liquids. Our major innovation is the introduction of charge–charge correlations, which are treated in a simple phenomenological way. We test this theory on a generic coarse-grained model for aromatic RTILs with oligomeric forms for both cations and anions, approximating 1-alkyl-3-methyl imidazoliums and BF4−, respectively. We find that predictions by the new density functional theory for fluid structures at charged surfaces are very accurate, as compared with molecular dynamics simulations, across a range of surface charge densities and lengths of the alkyl chain. Predictions of interactions between charged surfaces are also presented.