Investigation of the role of hydrogen bonding in ionic liquid-like salts with both N- and S-soft donors†
In search of ionic liquids (ILs) with multiple types of soft donor atoms capable of preferentially complexing a range of soft metal ions over harder ions, we investigated structural clues to the role of hydrogen bonding in IL behavior through a series of salts with anions containing both N- and S-donor atoms based on azole thiolates. Reaction of equimolar amounts of triethylamine (Et3N) or diisobutylamine (DBA) with 1-phenyl-1H-tetrazole-5-thiol (PhTzSH), 1-methyl-1H-tetrazole-5-thiol (MeTzSH), or 5-methyl-1,3,4-dithiazole-2-thiol (MeDiTSH) yielded [Et3NH][MeTzS] (1), a yellow liquid, and the low melting yellow solids [DBAH][MeTzS] (2), [Et3NH][PhTzS] (3), [DBAH][PhTzS] (4), [Et3NH][MeDiTS] (5), and [DBAH][MeDiTS] (6). Thermal analysis revealed that all of them qualify as ILs with melting points below 100 °C. Single crystal X-ray structure analysis of 2–6 revealed the presence of an extensive H-bonding network that includes the rare N–H⋯S hydrogen bonds in 3, 4, and 6. These weaker interactions appear to significantly influence thermal behavior, where strong bonding leads to higher melting temperatures and lower decomposition points.