NMR relaxometric probing of ionic liquid dynamics and diffusion under mesoscopic confinement within bacterial cellulose ionogels

CJ Smith and S Gehrke and O Holloczki and DV Wagle and MP Heitz and GA Baker, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 148, 193845 (2018).

DOI: 10.1063/1.5016337

Bacterial cellulose ionogels (BCIGs) represent a newclass of material comprising a significant content of entrapped ionic liquid (IL) within a porous network formed from crystalline cellulose microfibrils. BCIGs suggest unique opportunities in separations, optically active materials, solid electrolytes, and drug delivery due to the fact that they can contain as much as 99% of an IL phase by weight, coupled with an inherent flexibility, high optical transparency, and the ability to control ionogel crosssectional shape and size. To allow for the tailoring of BCIGs for a multitude of applications, it is necessary to better understand the underlying principles of the mesoscopic confinement within these ionogels. Toward this, we present a study of the structural, relaxation, and diffusional properties of the ILs, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide (emimTf2N) and 1-butyl-1methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide (bmpyTf2N), using H-1 and F-19 NMR T1 relaxation times, rotational correlation times, and diffusion ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) diffusion coefficients, accompanied by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We observed that the cation methyl groups in both ILs were primary points of interaction with the cellulose chains and, while the pore size in cellulose is rather large, emim(+) diffusion was slowed by similar to 2-fold, whereas Tf2N(-) diffusionwas unencumbered by incorporation in the ionogel. WhileMDsimulations of bmpyTf2N confinement at the interface showed a diffusion coefficient decrease roughly 3-fold compared to the bulk liquid, DOSY measurements did not reveal any significant changes in diffusion. This suggests that the bmpyTf2N alkyl chains dominate diffusion through formation of apolar domains. This is in contrast to emimTf2N where delocalized charge appears to preclude apolar domain formation, allowing interfacial effects to be manifested at a longer range in emimTf2N. Published by AIP Publishing.

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