Interparticle interactions and dynamics in BmimBF4 and LiBF4 solutions in propylene carbonate: MD simulation
Ionic liquids have gained immense popularity in recent decades due to a combination of unique properties. Despite the widespread use of ionic liquids mixtures with aprotic dipolar solvents in electrochemistry, it remains relevant to predict their macroscopic, primarily transport, properties based on the microscopic picture of the entire set of interparticle interactions in such systems. The method of molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) is one of the most powerful tools for solving problems of this kind. However, one of the unsolved problems of the classical MDS of ion-molecular systems is the correct accounting of polarization effects. Recently it was proposed to use a variation of the effective ion charges in solutions to solve this task.
This paper presents the results of the MDS structural and dynamic properties of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium (BmimBF4) and lithium (LiBF4) tetrafluoroborates solutions in propylene carbonate (PC) at 298.15 K in NPT ensemble using GROMACS and MDNAES software packages.
The possibility of reproducing the experimental dynamic properties (diffusion coefficients of cations and solvent, viscosity, and electrical conductivity) of binary systems based on mixtures of ionic liquids with PC in a wide concentration range was shown. Polarization effects were taken into account by reducing the partial charges of the ion atoms.
The structure of the solvation shell of cations was studied within the framework of radial distribution functions, distribution of coordination numbers and the presence of hydrogen bonds between the organic cation and solvent molecules. The results point to stronger and more structured solvation shell of the Li+ cation compared to Bmim+, which is consistent with the conclusions about the mobility of these cations. The reorientation times of propylene carbonate molecules and their lifetimes in the framework of the first solvation shells of the cations are several times higher for the lithium cation.
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