The Effect of Fluorinated Solvents on the Physicochemical Properties, Ionic Association, and Free Volume of a Prototypical Solvate Ionic Liquid
Burba, C. M., Feightner, K., Liu, M., & Hawari, A. (2022, January 21). CHEMPHYSCHEM.
Solvate ionic liquid (SIL) synthesis and properties depend on a delicate balancing of cation-solvent and cation-anion interactions to produce materials containing only cation-solvent complexes and solvent-separated anions. Most SILs meeting these characteristics fall within the paradigm of oligomeric ethylene oxides (e.g. glymes and glycols) and lithium salts. Targeted functionalization of solvent molecules to achieve desired properties is a relatively unexplored avenue of research. Fluorinated solvents have significantly different electric charge distributions compared to their nonfluorinated analogs. We test the impact of solvent fluorination for a SIL created from equimolar mixtures of lithium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (LiNTf2 ) and triethylene glycol (TEG), hereafter [(TEG)1 Li]NTf2 . In the first experiment, TEG is partially substituted with 2,2,4,4,5,5,7,7-octafluoro-3,6-dioxaoctane-1,8-diol (FTEG). This leads to a precipitous decrease in ionic conductivity and larger quantities of ionically-associated Li(NTf2 )2- species, as detected with vibrational spectroscopy. These observations suggest FTEG does not readily coordinate Li+ ions in a manner analogous to TEG. Computational studies reinforce this conclusion. Relative complex cation stabilities are ranked as [(FTEG)1 Li]+ >[(TEG)1 Li]+ . A second experiment adds FTEG as a diluent to [(TEG)1 Li]NTf2 . This places FTEG and TEG in competition to coordinate a limited number of Li+ ions. The resulting mixtures exhibit conductivity enhancement over the parent SIL and minimal changes in ion speciation due to the poor Li+ binding by FTEG compared to TEG. Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopic studies point to increased amounts of free volume upon dilution of FTEG. This likely explains the origin of the conductivity and viscosity enhancements.