Solvation and rotational dynamics of coumarin 153 in ionic liquids: Comparisons to conventional solvents

Hui Jin, Gary A. Baker, Sergei Arzhantsev, Jing Dong, Mark Maroncelli

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Steady-state and time-resolved emission spectroscopy with 25 ps resolution are used to measure equilibrium and dynamic aspects of the solvation of coumarin 153 (C153) in a diverse collection of 21 room-temperature ionic liquids. The ionic liquids studied here include several phosphonium and imidazolium liquids previously reported as well as 12 new ionic liquids that incorporate two homologous series of ammonium and pyrrolidinium cations. Steady-state absorption and emission spectra are used to extract solvation free energies and reorganization energies associated with the S0↔S1 transition of C153. These quantities, especially the solvation free energy, vary relatively little in ionic liquids compared to conventional solvents. Some correlation is found between these quantities and the mean separation between ions (or molar volume). Time-resolved anisotropies are used to observe solute rotation. Rotation times measured in ionic liquids correlate with solvent viscosity in much the same way that they do in conventional polar solvents. No special frictional coupling between the C153 and the ionic liquid solvents is indicated by these times. But, in contrast to what is observed in most low-viscosity conventional solvents, rotational correlation functions in ionic liquids are nonexponential. Time-resolved Stokes shift measurements are used to characterize solvation dynamics. The solvation response functions in ionic liquids are also nonexponential and can be reasonably represented by stretched-exponential functions of time. The solvation times observed are correlated with the solvent viscosity, and the much slower solvation in ionic liquids compared to dipolar solvents can be attributed to their much larger viscosities. Solvation times of the majority of ionic liquids studied appear to follow a single correlation with solvent viscosity. Only liquids incorporating the largest phosphonium cation appear to follow a distinctly different correlation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7291-7302
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 28 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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