Photodetachment, electron cooling, and recombination, in a series of neat aliphatic room temperature ionic liquids

Francesc Molins I Domenech, Andrew T. Healy, David A. Blank

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Abstract

Transient absorption following photodetachment of a series of neat methyl-alkyl-pyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)amides at 6.20 eV was measured with sub-picosecond time resolution in the visible and near-IR portions of the spectrum. This series spans the onset of structuring in the liquids in the form of polarity alternation. Excitation promotes the electron into a delocalized state with a very large reactive radius. Strong transient absorption is observed in the visible spectrum with a ∼700 fs lifetime, and much weaker, long-lived absorption is observed in the near-IR spectrum. Absorption in the visible is shown to be consistent with the hole, and absorption in the near-IR is assigned to the free solvated electron. Yield of free electrons is estimated at ∼4%, is insensitive to the size of the cation, and is determined in less than 1 ps. Solvation of free electrons depends strongly on the size of the cation and correlates well with the viscosity of the liquid. In addition to radiolytic stability of the aliphatic cations, ultrafast, efficient recombination of separated charge in NTf 2-based ionic liquids following photo-excitation near the band-gap may prevent subsequent reactive damage associated with anions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064506
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume143
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 14 2015

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