Characterization of the bridged proton structure in HTFSI acid ionic liquid solutions

Kyle T. Munson, Jason Vergara, Lei Yu, Timothy D. Vaden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Acidic ionic liquid (AIL) solutions were prepared by dissolving bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)imide (HTFSI) acid in the ionic liquid (IL) 1-butyl-3-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifloromethanesulfonyl)imide (PyrrTFSI). The HTFSI/PyrrTFSI solutions were investigated by conductivity measurements, optical spectroscopy, and DFT calculations in order to understand the ionization/solvation mechanism of HTFSI in the solutions. The HTFSI/PyrrTFSI solution conductivities first increased at lower concentrations and then decreased when the concentration of HTFSI is higher than ?1.5 M. The spectroscopic results indicate that the solvation structure may evolve from lower to higher concentrations to make protonated TFSI- motifs. Both spectroscopic and DFT simulation results support the observation of proton-sharing [H(TFSI)2]? dimers, which may form through a bridged hydrogen in the format of either a N-H-N connection or a N-H-O connection. Both configurations may exist in the AIL solution. The proton-sharing mechanism implied by these structures confirms that the TFSI- ion can be a proton acceptor and a Brønsted base as well in IL solutions. However, the IL molecular cations such as imidazolium and (in this work) pyrrolidinium do not contribute significantly to the proton solvation and transportation in the solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6304-6310
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 21 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of the bridged proton structure in HTFSI acid ionic liquid solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this