Solid and liquid charge-transfer complex formation between 1-methylnaphthalene and 1-alkyl-cyanopyridinium bis{(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl}imide ionic liquids

Christopher Hardacre, John Holbrey, Claire Mullan, Mark Nieuwenhuyzen, Tristan Youngs, D.T. Bowron, S.J. Teat

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Liquid charge-transfer (CT) complexes were observed to form on contacting electron-rich aromatics with electron withdrawing group appended 1-alkyl-4-cyanopyridinium ionic liquids (ILs). Cooling below the melting point of the ionic liquid resulted in crystallisation of ionic liquid from the complex for 2-cyano and 3-cyano pyridinium isomers and in the formation of a 1 : 1 IL : aromatic crystalline CT-complex with the 4-cyanopyridinium isomer. The liquid structure of a 1 : 1 mixture of 1-methyl-4-cyanopyridinium bis{(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl} imide with 1-methylnaphthalene has been probed by neutron diffraction experiments and molecular dynamics simulations. A high degree of correlation between the experimental data and the simulations was found with a significant displacement of the anions from around the cation by the aromatic species and the resulting structure having pi-pi stacks between the cations and the aromatic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1842-1853
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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