Proton-Exchange-Induced Configuration Rearrangement in a Poly(ionic liquid) Solution: A NMR Study

Haijin Zhu*, Hengrui Yang, Jiaye Li, Kristine J. Barlow, Lingxue Kong, David Mecerreyes, Douglas R. MacFarlane, Maria Forsyth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Polymeric ionic liquids have emerged recently as a promising alternative to traditional polymers as the polymer electrolyte membrane materials of choice because of their strongly decoupled dynamics between the polymer backbone and the counterions. Knowledge of proton exchange and transport mechanism in such materials is critical to the design and development of new poly(ionic liquid) materials with improved electrochemical properties. Our NMR results show that the proton exchange between the labile proton of the diethylmethylammonium (NH122) cation and H2O molecules is accompanied by a concerted configuration rearrangement of the ammonium. Through a combination of PFG-NMR and proton relaxation (line width) analysis, we demonstrate that at lower temperatures the labile proton diffuses along with the NH122 ammonium cation as an integral unit, whereas at higher temperatures the NH/H2O proton exchange sets in gradually, and the PFG-NMR measured diffusion coefficient is a population-averaged value between the two exchanging sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5355-5359
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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