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Structural and dynamical properties of ionic liquids: The influence of ion size disparity

TitleStructural and dynamical properties of ionic liquids: The influence of ion size disparity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSpohr, HV, Patey, GN
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Date PublishedAug
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0021-9606

The influence of ion size disparity on structural and dynamical properties of ionic liquids is systematically investigated employing molecular dynamics simulations. Ion size ratios are varied over a realistic range (from 1:1 to 5:1) while holding other important molecular and system parameters fixed. In this way we isolate and identify effects that stem from size disparity alone. In strongly size disparate systems the larger species (cations in our model) tend to dominate the structure; the anion-anion distribution is largely determined by anion-cation correlations. The diffusion coefficients of both species increase, and the shear viscosity decreases with increasing size disparity. The influence of size disparity is strongest up to a size ratio of 3:1, then decreases, and by 5:1 both the diffusion coefficients and viscosity appear to be approaching limiting values. The conventional Stokes-Einstein expression for diffusion coefficients holds reasonably well for the cations but fails for the smaller anions as size disparity increases likely due to the neglect of strong anion-cation correlations. The electrical conductivity is not a simple monotonic function of size disparity; it first increases up to size ratios of 2:1, remains nearly constant until 3:1, then decreases such that the conductivities of the 1:1 and 5:1 systems are similar. This behavior is traced to the competing influences of ion diffusion (enhancing) and ion densities (reducing) on conductivities at constant packing fraction. The temperature dependence of the transport properties is examined for the 1:1 and 3:1 systems. In accord with experiment, the temperature dependence of all transport properties is well represented by the Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann equation. The dependence of the diffusion coefficients on the temperature/viscosity ratio is well described by the fractional Stokes-Einstein relation D proportional to(T/eta)(beta) with beta approximate to 0.8, consistent with the exponent observed for many molten inorganic salts.

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