Electrical conductivity of the supercooled ionic liquid [C8MIM][NTf2], determined as a function of temperature and pressure, highlights strong differences in its ionic transport behavior between low and high temperature regions. To date, the crossover effect which is very well known for low molecular van der Waals liquids has been rarely described for classical ionic liquids. This finding highlights that the thermal fluctuations could be dominant mechanisms driving the dramatic slowing down of ion motions near Tg. An alternative way to analyze separately low and high temperature dc-conductivity data using a density scaling approach was then proposed. Based on which a common value of the scaling exponent [gamma] = 2.4 was obtained, indicating that the applied density scaling is insensitive to the crossover effect. By comparing the scaling exponent [gamma] reported herein along with literature data for other ionic liquids, it appears that [gamma] decreases by increasing the alkyl chain length on the 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium-based ionic liquids. This observation may be related to changes in the interaction between ions in solution driven by an increase in the van der Waals type interaction by increasing the alkyl chain length on the cation. This effect may be related to changes in the ionic liquid nanostructural organization with the alkyl chain length on the cation as previously reported in the literature based on molecular dynamic simulations. In other words, the calculated scaling exponent [gamma] may be then used as a key parameter to probe the interaction and/or self-organizational changes in solution with respect to the ionic liquid structure.
Paluch, M., Wojnarowska, Z., Goodrich, P., Jacquemin, J., Pionteck, J., & Hensel-Bielowka, S. (2015). Can the scaling behavior of electric conductivity be used to probe the self-organizational changes in solution with respect to the ionic liquid structure? The case of [C8MIM][NTf2]. Soft Matter, 11(32), 6520-6526. https://doi.org/10.1039/C5SM01085C