Influence of ion pairing in ionic liquids on electrical double layer structures and surface force using classical density functional approach.

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Abstract

We explore the influence of ion pairing in room temperature ionic liquids confined by planar electrode surfaces. Using a coarse-grained model for the aromatic ionic liquid [C4MIM(+)][BF4 (-)], we account for an ion pairing component as an equilibrium associating species within a classical density functional theory. We investigated the resulting structure of the electrical double layer as well as the ensuing surface forces and differential capacitance, as a function of the degree of ion association. We found that the short-range structure adjacent to surfaces was remarkably unaffected by the degree of ion pairing, up to several molecular diameters. This was even the case for 100% of ions being paired. The physical implications of ion pairing only become apparent in equilibrium properties that depend upon the long-range screening of charges, such as the asymptotic behaviour of surface forces and the differential capacitance, especially at low surface potential. The effect of ion pairing on capacitance is consistent with their invocation as a source of the anomalous temperature dependence of the latter. This work shows that ion pairing effects on equilibrium properties are subtle and may be difficult to extract directly from simulations.

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  • Physical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Article number174704
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume142
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Theoretical Chemistry (S) (011001039)

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