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      Charge transport and glassy dynamics in ionic liquids.

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      Accounts of chemical research

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          Ionic liquids (ILs) exhibit unique features such as low melting points, low vapor pressures, wide liquidus temperature ranges, high thermal stability, high ionic conductivity, and wide electrochemical windows. As a result, they show promise for use in variety of applications: as reaction media, in batteries and supercapacitors, in solar and fuel cells, for electrochemical deposition of metals and semiconductors, for protein extraction and crystallization, and many others. Because of the ease with which they can be supercooled, ionic liquids offer new opportunities to investigate long-standing questions regarding the nature of the dynamic glass transition and its possible link to charge transport. Despite the significant steps achieved from experimental and theoretical studies, no generally accepted quantitative theory of dynamic glass transition to date has been capable of reproducing all the experimentally observed features. In this Account, we discuss recent studies of the interplay between charge transport and glassy dynamics in ionic liquids as investigated by a combination of several experimental techniques including broadband dielectric spectroscopy, pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance, dynamic mechanical spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. Based on Einstein-Smoluchowski relations, we use dielectric spectra of ionic liquids to determine diffusion coefficients in quantitative agreement with independent pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance measurements, but spanning a broader range of more than 10 orders of magnitude. This approach provides a novel opportunity to determine the electrical mobility and effective number density of charge carriers as well as their types of thermal activation from the measured dc conductivity separately. We also unravel the origin of the remarkable universality of charge transport in different classes of glass-forming ionic liquids.

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          Author and article information

          Acc. Chem. Res.
          Accounts of chemical research
          Apr 17 2012
          : 45
          : 4
          [1 ] Institute of Experimental Physics I, University of Leipzig, Linnéstr. 5, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. sangoro@physik.uni-leipzig.de


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