Langmuir, Vol.36, No.1, 148-158, 2020
Rheological and Ionic Transport Properties of Nanocomposite Electrolytes Based on Protic Ionic Liquids and Silica Nanoparticles
In this study, the effect of hydrophilic silica nanoparticle (AEROSIL 200) addition on the rheological and transport properties of several protic ionic liquids (PILs) consisting of protonated 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene cation (DBU) was studied. Interactions between the surface silanol groups of the silica nanoparticles and the ions of these PILs affected the nature of particle aggregation and the hydrogen bonding environment, which was reflected in the nonlinear rheological behaviors and transport properties of their colloidal suspensions. In contrast to shear-thinning gels formed by colloidal suspensions of the silica nanoparticles in [DBU][TFSA] ([TFSA] = [N(SO2CF3)(2)]), [DBU][TfO] ([TfO] = [CF3SO3]), and [DBU][TFA] ([TFA] = [CF3CO2]), a shear-thickening stable suspension was formed in the [DBU][MSA] ([MSA] = [CH3SO3]) system. A relatively strong interaction between the silanol groups and the ions of [DBU] [MSA] and the ability of this PIL to form a thicker solvation layer through hydrogen bonding were assumed to be responsible for this unique behavior. Moreover, the [DBU][MSA]-silica system showed a large enhancement in the conductivity at a certain silica concentration. This enhancement was not observed in the other PIL-silica composites that exhibited shear-thinning behavior. Even though diffusion of ions was found to be restricted in the presence of silica, a preferentially stronger interaction between [MSA] anions and the silica surface resulted in an increase in the number of charge carriers.