Science China Chemistry

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 594–600 | Cite as

Molecular simulation study of dynamical properties of room temperature ionic liquids with carbon pieces

  • Guang Feng
  • Wei Zhao
  • Peter T. Cummings
  • Song Li
Articles SPECIAL TOPIC · Ionic Liquids: Energy, Materials & Environment


Room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) with dispersed carbon pieces exhibit distinctive physiochemical properties. To explore the molecular mechanism, RTILs/carbon pieces mixture was investigated by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation in this work. Rigid and flexible carbon pieces in the form of graphene with different thicknesses and carbon nanotubes in different sizes were dispersed in a representative RTIL 1-butyl-3-methyl-imidazolium dicyanamide ([Bmim][DCA]). This study demonstrated that the diffusion coefficients of RTILs in the presence of flexible carbons are similar to those of bulk RTILs at varying temperatures, which is in contrast to the decreased diffusion of RTILs in the presence of rigid carbons. In addition, interfacial ion number density at rigid carbon surfaces was higher than that at flexible ones, which is correlated with the accessible external surface area of carbon pieces. The life time of cation-anion pair in the presence of carbon pieces also exhibited a dependence on carbon flexibility. RTILs with dispersed rigid carbon pieces showed longer ion pair life time than those with flexible ones, in consistence with the observation in diffusion coefficients. This work highlights the necessity of including the carbon flexibility when performing MD simulation of RTILs in the presence of dispersed carbon pieces in order to obtain the reliable dynamical and interfacial structural properties.


room temperature ionic liquids carbon pieces flexibility dynamical property ion pair stability interfacial structure 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guang Feng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter T. Cummings
    • 3
  • Song Li
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Coal CombustionHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.School of Energy and Power EngineeringHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular EngineeringVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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