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Ab Initio Force Fields for Imidazolium-Based Ionic Liquids

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posted on 28.06.2016, 00:00 by Jesse G. McDaniel, Eunsong Choi, Chang Yun Son, J. R. Schmidt, Arun Yethiraj
We develop ab initio force fields for alkylimidazolium-based ionic liquids (ILs) that predict the density, heats of vaporization, diffusion, and conductivity that are in semiquantitative agreement with experimental data. These predictions are useful in light of the scarcity of and sometimes inconsistency in experimental heats of vaporization and diffusion coefficients. We illuminate physical trends in the liquid cohesive energy with cation chain length and anion. These trends are different than those based on the experimental heats of vaporization. Molecular dynamics prediction of the room temperature dynamics of such ILs is more difficult than is generally realized in the literature due to large statistical uncertainties and sensitivity to subtle force field details. We believe that our developed force fields will be useful for correctly determining the physics responsible for the structure/property relationships in neat ILs.