Proton Hopping Mechanisms in a Protic Organic Ionic Plastic Crystal

A Mondal and S Balasubramanian, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 120, 22903-22909 (2016).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b08274

We elucidate the dynamics and mechanism of proton transport in a protic organic ionic plastic crystal (POIPC) TAZpfBu by means of BornOppenheimer molecular dynamics simulations at 400 K and zero humidity. The arrangement of ionic species in the crystal offers a two- dimensional hydrogen bond network along which an acidic proton can travel from one cation to another through a sequence of molecular reorientations. The results suggest spontaneous autodissociation of the NHN bond in the cation and multiple proton shuttle events from the cations nitrogen to the anions oxygen site in a native crystal. A complete proton transfer event is observed in simulations of a defective crystal with a single proton hole created in the cation. The barrier for proton transfer is determined using ab initio metadynamics simulations to be 7 kcal/mol, in agreement with experimental conductivity data. Using gas phase quantum chemical calculations, we propose TAZCF3CF2CH2CF2SO3 as a compound that can show enhanced conductivity compared to that of TAZpfBu.

Return to Publications page