We present the results of MD simulations, using a coarse grained force field, concerning the mechanism of diffusion in ionic liquid crystals. The dynamical properties of the recently characterized (G. Saielli, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 10279) model system of 1-hexadecyl-3-methylimidazolium nitrate in the smectic A phase are analysed in detail. Comparison is made with the dynamical behaviour of thermotropic non-ionic smectic liquid crystals (LCs) and with that of lamellar phases of surfactant–water mixtures. The self-diffusion anisotropy, that is the ratio between the parallel and perpendicular diffusion coefficients, is consistent with that of non-ionic smectic LCs, though a significant contribution to the parallel diffusion is given by “pore” defects, similarly to what was observed in lamellar phases.
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