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. 2007 May 3;111(17):4510-9.
doi: 10.1021/jp0703859. Epub 2007 Apr 11.

Free Energy and Dynamics of Electron-Transfer Reactions in a Room Temperature Ionic Liquid


Free Energy and Dynamics of Electron-Transfer Reactions in a Room Temperature Ionic Liquid

Youngseon Shim et al. J Phys Chem B. .


Reaction free energetics and dynamics of unimolecular electron-transfer processes in ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate (EMI+PF6-) are investigated via molecular dynamics computer simulations employing a model diatomic solute and compared with those in aprotic acetonitrile. Using the free energy perturbation method, diabatic free energy curves relevant to charge separation and recombination processes are studied over a wide range of the reaction coordinate. The diabatic curves are found to vary with the solute charge distribution, especially in EMI+PF6-. Nevertheless, if the free energy of reaction is not that substantial, the Marcus free energy relationship holds reasonably well, provided that the reorganization free energy averaged between the reactant and product states is employed. The effective polarity, measured as solvation-induced stabilization of dipolar solutes, is higher for EMI+PF6- than for acetonitrile, consonant with many solvatochromic measurements. Thus, in the normal regime, activation barriers for charge separation and recombination reactions are, respectively, lower and higher in EMI+PF6- than in acetonitrile. The influence of solvent dynamics on reaction kinetics through modulations of activation, deactivation, and barrier crossing is analyzed. Even though overall solvent relaxation dynamics in EMI+PF6- are considerably slower than those in acetonitrile, the deviation of the rate constant from the transition state theory predictions is found to be small for both solvents. Implications of this finding for other reactions in ionic liquids are briefly discussed.

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