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A Highly Viscous Imidazolium Ionic Liquid inside Carbon Nanotubes

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journal contribution
posted on 12.06.2014, 00:00 by Tomonori Ohba, Vitaly V. Chaban
We report a combined experimental (X-ray diffraction) and theoretical (molecular dynamics, hybrid density functional theory) study of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, [C2C1MIM]­[Cl], inside carbon nanotubes (CNTs). We show that despite its huge viscosity [C2C1MIM]­[Cl] readily penetrates into 1–3 nm wide CNTs at slightly elevated temperatures (323–363 K). Molecular simulations were used to assign atom–atom peaks. Experimental and simulated structures of RTIL inside CNT and in bulk phase are in good agreement. We emphasize a special role of the CNT–chloride interactions in the successful adsorption of [C2C1MIM]­[Cl] on the inner sidewalls of 1–3 nm carbon nanotubes.