Transport properties of imidazolium-based room temperature ionic liquids in confinement of slit charged carbon nanopores: New insights from molecular simulations
The paper presents a study of the behavior of room-temperature ionic liquids with different alkyl chain lengths and anion types in slit negatively charged carbon nanopores of various widths (1÷15 nm) using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations. The structure of the confined ionic liquids is investigated using number, mass, and charge density profiles and radial distribution functions. The paper also discusses such characteristics as mean squared displacement of ions in all directions, self-diffusion coefficients of cations and anions in the bulk, their temperature dependences, electrical conductivity. Some energy characteristics are obtained by quantum chemical calculations. It is established that there is a bulk region in the pore center for all the confined ionic liquids, starting from the pore width of 7 nm. The sums of the cationic and anionic self-diffusion coefficients of different ionic liquids can be arranged as follows: D[OMIM][BF4] < D[EMIM][BF4] < D[OMIM][NTf2] < D[EMIM][NTf2]. Due to layering structure inside the pore, the dynamics of the ions is heterogeneous. It is shown that the RTILs with longer alkyl chains have lower electrical conductivities regardless of temperature. The opposite effect associated with the species size is observed for RTILs with different anions.