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Inorg Chem. 1996 Feb 28;35(5):1168-1178.

Hydrophobic, Highly Conductive Ambient-Temperature Molten Salts.

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Institut de chimie physique, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.


New, hydrophobic ionic liquids with low melting points (<-30 degrees C to ambient temperature) have been synthesized and investigated, based on 1,3-dialkyl imidazolium cations and hydrophobic anions. Other imidazolium molten salts with hydrophilic anions and thus water-soluble are also described. The molten salts were characterized by NMR and elemental analysis. Their density, melting point, viscosity, conductivity, refractive index, electrochemical window, thermal stability, and miscibility with water and organic solvents were determined. The influence of the alkyl substituents in 1, 2, 3, and 4(5)-positions on these properties was scrutinized. Viscosities as low as 35 cP (for 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis((trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl)amide (bis(triflyl)amide) and trifluoroacetate) and conductivities as high as 9.6 mS/cm were obtained. Photophysical probe studies were carried out to establish more precisely the solvent properties of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis((trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl)amide). The hydrophobic molten salts are promising solvents for electrochemical, photovoltaic, and synthetic applications.

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