Molecular dynamics simulations of the structure and single-particle dynamics of mixtures of divalent salts and ionic liquids

Víctor Gómez-González, Borja Docampo-Álvarez, Oscar Cabeza, Maxim Fedorov, Ruth M. Lynden-Bell, Luis J. Gallego, Luis M. Varela

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14 Citations (Scopus)


We report a molecular dynamics study of the structure and single-particle dynamics of mixtures of a protic (ethylammonium nitrate) and an aprotic (1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexaflurophosphate [BMIM][PF6]) room-temperature ionic liquids doped with magnesium and calcium salts with a common anion at 298.15 K and 1 atm. The solvation of these divalent cations in dense ionic environments is analyzed by means of apparent molar volumes of the mixtures, radial distribution functions, and coordination numbers. For the protic mixtures, the effect of salt concentration on the network of hydrogen bonds is also considered. Moreover, single-particle dynamics of the salt cations is studied by means of their velocity autocorrelation functions and vibrational densities of states, explicitly analyzing the influence of salt concentration, and cation charge and mass on these magnitudes. The effect of the valency of the salt cation on these properties is considered comparing the results with those for the corresponding mixtures with lithium salts. We found that the main structural and dynamic features of the local solvation of divalent cations in ionic liquids are similar to those of monovalent salts, with cations being localized in the polar nanoregions of the bulk mixture coordinated in monodentate and bidentate coordination modes by the [NO3]- and [PF6]- anions. However, stronger electrostatic correlations of these polar nanoregions than in mixtures with salts with monovalent cations are found. The vibrational modes of the ionic liquid (IL) are seen to be scarcely affected by the addition of the salt, and the effect of mass and charge on the vibrational densities of states of the dissolved cations is reported. Cation mass is seen to exert a deeper influence than charge on the low-frequency vibrational spectra, giving a red shift of the vibrational modes and a virtual suppression of the higher energy vibrational modes for the heavier Ca2+ cations. No qualitative difference with monovalent cations was found in what solvation is concerned, which suggests that no enhanced reduction of the mobility of these cations and their complexes in ILs respective to those of monovalent cations is to be expected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124507
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


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