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Structural and dynamical properties of ionic liquids: The influence of charge location

TitleStructural and dynamical properties of ionic liquids: The influence of charge location
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSpohr, HV, Patey, GN
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Date PublishedMar
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0021-9606
KeywordsANION, DIFFUSION, electrical conductivity, HYDROGEN-BONDS, liquid metals, liquid structure, liquid theory, molecular dynamics method, MOLECULAR-DYNAMICS, PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES, pressure, TEMPERATURE, TRANSPORT-PROPERTIES, VISCOSITIES, VISCOSITY

The properties of ionic liquids depend on the chemical structure of the constituent ions. An important difference between molten inorganic salts and room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) is that in RTILs the charge is frequently not located at the center of mass. This paper describes a molecular dynamics investigation of the influence of charge location on the structure and transport properties of ionic liquids. The model considered consists of univalent spherical ions with the cation charge moved away from its center of mass. It is shown that the charge location has an important influence on the liquid properties. As the charge is moved off center, the electrical conductivity initially increases, and the shear viscosity decreases. However, when the charge exceeds a certain displacement, this behavior is reversed. With further charge displacement, the conductivity decreases sharply and the viscosity increases rapidly. This behavior reversal can be traced to the formation of directional ion pairs that are present in sufficient numbers, and have lifetimes sufficiently long to strongly influence the liquid properties. We suggest that the influence of directional ion pairing can explain what appear to be anomalously low conductivities and high viscosities observed for some RTILs. The rotational and reorientational motions of the cations are examined, and shown to be strongly influenced by ion-pair formation when the charge is far off center. The temperature dependence of the transport properties is considered for selected systems, and deviations from Arrhenius behavior are found to be most important for the conductivity. Based on our results, this possibly indicates that directional ion pairs create an additional "barrier" to charge transport in some ionic liquids.

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