Structural Evidence for the Ordered Crystallites of Ionic Liquid in Confined Carbon Nanotubes
2009 (English)In: The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, ISSN 1932-7447, Vol. 113, no 23, 10013-10020 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ionic liquids (ILs) are a class of new green materials that have attracted extensive attention in recent decades. Many novel properties not evident under normal conditions may appear when ionic liquids are confined to a nanometer scale. As was observed in the experiment, an anomalous phase behavior from liquid to high melting point perfect crystal occurred when 1-n-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate ([bmim][PF6]) ionic liquid was confined in a carbon nanotube. In this work, we performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for [bmim][PF6] ionic liquid and provided direct structural evidence that the ionic crystallizes in a carbon nanotube. The ordered ionic arrangement in both the radial and the axial directions can be observed inside the channels of the CNTs to induce the form of crystallites. The ionic stacking and distributing can be determined by the sizes of the CNTs. Hydrogen bonds remain the dominant interactions between cations and anions when the ionic liquid enters into the CNT from the bulk phase. The free energies as the thermal driven forces were calculated, and it is found that it is very difficult for a single anion to enter into the channel of the CNT spontaneously. A more favorable way is through an ion-pair in which a cation “pulls” an anion to enter into the channel of the CNT together. It is predicted that other ionic liquids that possess similar structures, even including the pyridinium-based ionic liquids, can show higher melting points when confined in CNTs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 113, no 23, 10013-10020 p.
Research subject Physical Chemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31842DOI: 10.1021/jp900533kISI: 000266679500009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-31842DiVA: diva2:278700