Faculté des sciences

Free electrons and ionic liquids: study of excited states by means of electron-energy loss spectroscopy and the density functional theory multireference configuration interaction method

Regeta, Khrystyna ; Bannwarth, Christoph ; Grimme, Stefan ; Allan, Michael

In: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2015, p. -

The technique of low energy (0–30 eV) electron impact spectroscopy, originally developed for gas phase molecules, is applied to room temperature ionic liquids (IL). Electron energy loss (EEL) spectra recorded near threshold, by collecting 0–2 eV electrons, are largely continuous, assigned to excitation of a quasi-continuum of high overtones and combination vibrations of low-frequency modes.... More

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    Summary
    The technique of low energy (0–30 eV) electron impact spectroscopy, originally developed for gas phase molecules, is applied to room temperature ionic liquids (IL). Electron energy loss (EEL) spectra recorded near threshold, by collecting 0–2 eV electrons, are largely continuous, assigned to excitation of a quasi-continuum of high overtones and combination vibrations of low-frequency modes. EEL spectra recorded by collecting 10 eV electrons show predominantly discrete vibrational and electronic bands. The vibrational energy-loss spectra correspond well to IR spectra except for a broadening ([similar]0.04 eV) caused by the liquid surroundings, and enhanced overtone activity indicating a contribution from resonant excitation mechanism. The spectra of four representative ILs were recorded in the energy range of electronic excitations and compared to density functional theory multireference configuration interaction (DFT/MRCI) calculations, with good agreement. The spectra up to about 8 eV are dominated by π–π* transitions of the aromatic cations. The lowest bands were identified as triplet states. The spectral region 2–8 eV was empty in the case of a cation without π orbitals. The EEL spectrum of a saturated solution of methylene green in an IL band showed the methylene green EEL band at 2 eV, indicating that ILs may be used as a host to study nonvolatile compounds by this technique in the future.