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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 10, pp. 1927-1941

Published online 2010-08-06

Structure, solvation, and acid–base property in ionic liquids

Shin-ichi Ishiguro*, Yasuhiro Umebayashi, Ryo Kanzaki and Kenta Fujii

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, 812-8581, Japan

Abstract: Ionic liquids (ILs) are expected to have specific properties as solvents for chemical reactions in view of solution chemistry. Among physicochemical properties, liquid structure, acid–base, and electron-pair donating and accepting abilities of solvent play a crucial role in ion-solvation and acid–base, metal-ion complexation, and electrochemical reactions. Various types of ILs have been developed, and among others, the bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)amide (TFSA)-based ILs are extensively used. TFSA is a flexible molecule to give two stable conformers, cis (C1) and trans (C2), which are present in equilibrium in the liquid state. The conformational equilibrium shifts upon solvation to the metal ion. This is quantitatively studied to obtain thermodynamic parameters of conformational change from C2 to C1 in the bulk and in the solvation sphere of the lithium ion. On the other hand, with ethylammonium nitrate (EAN), a typical protic IL, it is revealed that the ammonium group is hydrogen-bonded with three nitrate ions to form a heterogeneous liquid structure. The solvent acid–base property of EAN and acid dissociation reaction in EAN have been quantitatively revealed, and the results will be discussed in comparison with those in normal molecular solvents.