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Exploring the bulk-phase structure of ionic liquid mixtures using small-angle neutron scattering

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DateAccepted/In press - 26 Jun 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jun 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jan 2018
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)265-289
Early online date26/06/17
Original languageEnglish


Small-angle neutron scattering experiments, supported by molecular dynamics simulations, have been performed on a range of compositions of the [C2mim]1-x[C12mim]x[Tf2N] ionic liquid mixture system. Isotopic contrast variation, through selective deuteration of both cations, has been used to assist in fitting the data to different scattering models. These data, and subsequent fitting, show that the structure of the ionic liquid mixtures changes substantially as a function of composition. Mixtures where x < 0.32 are dominated by aggregates of amphiphilic [C12mim]+ ions in the relatively polar [C2mim][Tf2N] solvent. Compositions where x > 0.32 can be described as bicontinuous, containing networks of both polar and non-polar domains, where the C12 chains of the [C12mim]+ ions percolate through the system to form a continuous non-polar sub-phase. Temperature-dependent scattering experiments suggest that there is relatively little change in bulk structure in these liquids between 20 and 60 oC. The presence of water, however, does influence some aspects of the liquid structure in a composition that is rich in [C2mim][Tf2N] (where x = 0.24).

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© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

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