Local coordination and dynamics of a protic ammonium based ionic liquid immobilized in nano-porous silica micro-particles probed by Raman and NMR spectroscopy

Soft Matter. 2016 Mar 7;12(9):2583-92. doi: 10.1039/c5sm02736e. Epub 2016 Feb 3.


Room temperature ionic liquids confined in a solid material, for example, nano-porous silica, are particularly propitious for energy related applications. The aim of this study is to probe the molecular interactions established between the protic ionic liquid diethylmethylammonium methanesulfonate (DEMA-OMs) and silica, where the latter consists of nano-porous micro-particles with pores in the size range of 10 nm. The changes in the local coordination and transport properties induced by the nano-confinement of the ionic liquid are investigated by a combination of Raman and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. In particular, one-dimensional (1D) (1)H and (29)Si and two-dimensional (2D) (29)Si{(1)H} HETOCR solid-state NMR are combined to identify the sites of interaction at the silica-ionic liquid interface. Pulsed field gradient (PFG) NMR experiments are performed to estimate the self-diffusion of both bulk and nano-confined DEMA-OMs. Complementary information on the overall coordination and interaction scheme is achieved by Raman spectroscopy. All these advanced experimental techniques are revealed to be crucial to differentiate between ionic liquid molecules residing in the inter- or intra-particle domains.