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Uranyl Complexes of Carboxyl-Functionalized Ionic Liquids

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posted on 05.04.2010, 00:00 authored by Peter Nockemann, Rik Van Deun, Ben Thijs, Diederik Huys, Evert Vanecht, Kristof Van Hecke, Luc Van Meervelt, Koen Binnemans
Uranium(VI) oxide has been dissolved in three different ionic liquids functionalized with a carboxyl group: betainium bis[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl]imide, 1-(carboxymethyl)-3-methylimidazolium bis[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl]imide, and N-(carboxymethyl)-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl]imide. The dissolution process results in the formation of uranyl complexes with zwitterionic carboxylate ligands and bis[(trifluoromethyl)sulfonyl]imide (bistriflimide) counterions. An X-ray diffraction study on single crystals of the uranyl complexes revealed that the crystal structure strongly depends on the cationic core appended to the carboxylate groups. The betainium ionic liquid gives a dimeric uranyl complex, the imidazolium ionic liquid a monomeric complex, and the pyrrolidinium ionic liquid a one-dimensional polymeric uranyl complex. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure measurements have been performed on the betainium uranyl complex. The absorption and luminescence spectra of the uranyl betainium complex have been studied in the solid state and dissolved in water, in acetonitrile, and in the ionic liquid betainium bistriflimide. The carboxylate groups remain coordinated to uranyl in acetonitrile and in betainium bistriflimide but not in water.