Hetcher, week of July 11

Synthesis of the ionic liquids was tried, for the first time. With a fair amount of help and guidance from Professor Debbert,  we were able to successfully garner [C4dmim]TFSI, on a scale of a single milliliter. The yield was drastically uncertain, but given that we started with little and got as little, it’s promising. The full synthesis will begin over the course of the weekend, with the intent to involve the prospective students who will be around Monday as part of the LUSI program. Since the reagents used are all either cheap or in large supply, it’s a fairly cost-effective solution. Throughout this trial process, I was able to get even closer with the NMR, which will be helpful for making sure that we have what we hope for.

In the meantime of waiting for the reactions to progress, I was able to obtain data from Ben Clark on the densities and viscosities of [Cndmim]PF6 ionic liquids, and did my best to analyze them. Using parts of a template from Allison, I did generate an energy of activation for the [Cndmim]PF6 around 50 kJ/mol. This was met with much excitement, and sparked quite a conversation about the implications concerning what we can expect for the results of my project. There is some uncertainty in that value, and I’ll be sure to reexamine the process using the template I’ve been provided, but for the amount I had to re-figure out from spring term, I’m fairly confident.

To recap: I was able to successful synthesize one of the members of the ionic liquid family that I’ll be studying! I was also able to generate a reasonable activation energy from the data that Ben Clark had gathered on the [Cndmim]PF6 family during the spring. I wasn’t able to determine an exact yield, but am confident that we’ll be within range.

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