Ab initio simulations of a single molecule of HCl in liquid dimethyl imidazolium chloride [dmim][Cl] show that the acidic proton exists as a symmetric, linear ClHCl- species. Details of the solvation structure around this molecule are given. The proton-transfer process was investigated by applying a force along the antisymmetric stretch coordinate until the molecule broke. Changes in the free energy and local solvation structure during this process were investigated. In the reaction mechanism identified, a free chloride approaches the proton from the side. As the original ClHCl- distorts and the incoming chloride forms a new bond to the proton, one of the original chlorine atoms is expelled and a new linear molecule is formed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry