Solvation dynamics in a prototypical ionic liquid + dipolar aprotic liquid mixture: 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate + acetonitrile

Min Liang, Xin Xing Zhang, Anne Kaintz, Nikolaus P. Ernsting, Mark Maroncelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Solvation energies, rotation times, and 100 fs to 20 ns solvation response functions of the solute coumarin 153 (C153) in mixtures of 1-butyl-3- methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([Im41][BF4]) + acetonitrile (CH3CN) at room temperature (20.5 C) are reported. Available density, shear viscosity, and electrical conductivity data at 25 C are also collected and parametrized, and new data on refractive indices and component diffusion coefficients presented. Solvation free energies and reorganization energies associated with the S0 â" S 1 transition of C153 are slightly (≤15%) larger in neat [Im 41][BF4] than in CH3CN. No clear evidence for preferential solvation of C153 in these mixtures is found. Composition-dependent diffusion coefficients (D) of Im41+ and CH3CN as well as C153 rotation times (τ) are approximately related to solution viscosity (η) as D, τ ηp with values of p = -0.88, -0.77, and +0.90, respectively. Spectral/solvation response functions (S ν(t)) are bimodal at all compositions, consisting of a subpicosecond fast component followed by a broadly distributed slower component extending over ps-ns times. Integral solvation times (〈τ solv〉 = ∫0∞Sν(t) dt) follow a power law on viscosity for mixture compositions 0.2 ≤ xIL ≤ 1 with p = 0.79. With recent broad-band dielectric measurements [ J. Phys. Chem. B 2012, 116, 7509 ] as input, a simple dielectric continuum model provides predictions for solvation response functions that correctly capture the distinctive bimodal character of the observed response. At xIL ∼ 1 predicted values of 〈τsolv〉 are smaller than those observed by a factor of 2-3, but the two become approximately equal at xIL = 0.2. Predictions of a recent semimolecular theory [ J. Phys. Chem. B 2011, 115, 4011 ] are less accurate, being uniformly slower than the observed solvation dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1340-1352
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 6 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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