Solvation Structure of Uracil in Ionic Liquids

Sarah E. Norman, Adam H. Turner, John D. Holbrey, Tristan G. A. Youngs

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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The local solvation environment of uracil dissolved in the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate has been studied using neutron diffraction techniques. At solvent:solute ratios of 3:1 and 2:1 ionic liquid:uracil, little perturbation of the ion-ion correlations compared to those of the neat ionic liquid are observed. We find that solvation of the uracil is driven predominantly by the acetate anion of the solvent. While short distance correlations exist between uracil and the imidazolium cation, the geometry of these contacts suggest that they cannot be considered as hydrogen bonds, in contrast to other studies by Araújo et al. (J. M. Araújo, A. B. Pereiro, J. N. Canongia-Lopes, L. P. Rebelo, I. M. Marrucho, J. Phys. Chem. B 2013, 117, 4109-4120). Nevertheless, this combination of interactions of the solute with both the cation and anion components of the solvents helps explain the high solubility of the nucleobase in this media. In addition, favorable uracil-uracil contacts are observed, of similar magnitude to those between cation and uracil, and are also likely to aid dissolution
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3923-3931
Number of pages9
Issue number23
Early online date11 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 05 Dec 2016


  • ionic liquids
  • neutron diffraction
  • solvation structure
  • uracil


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