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Phonon-like Hydrogen-Bond Modes in Protic Ionic Liquids

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journal contribution
posted on 16.05.2017, 00:00 by Judith Reichenbach, Stuart A. Ruddell, Mario González-Jiménez, Julio Lemes, David A. Turton, David J. France, Klaas Wynne
Gigahertz- to terahertz-frequency infrared and Raman spectra contain a wealth of information concerning the structure, intermolecular forces, and dynamics of ionic liquids. However, these spectra generally have a large number of contributions ranging from slow diffusional modes to underdamped librations and intramolecular vibrational modes. This makes it difficult to isolate effects such as the role of Coulombic and hydrogen-bonding interactions. We have applied far-infrared and ultrafast optical Kerr effect spectroscopies on carefully selected ions with a greater or lesser degree of symmetry in order to isolate spectral signals of interest. This has allowed us to demonstrate the presence of longitudinal and transverse optical phonon modes and a great similarity of alkylammonium-based protic ionic liquids to liquid water. The data show that such phonon modes will be present in all ionic liquids, requiring a reinterpretation of their spectra.