Hetcher, week of 18 July

There’s no such thing as a perfect week.

It was all going so smoothly. The synthesis was working, I had verified the previous weeks calculations, and I spoke convincingly to LUSI students about how NMR works. It took until the last hour of Friday for entropy to rear its head and flub something up.

I had finished preparing the last synthesis, [C10dmim][TFSI], and needed only to vacuum off the solvent and a few other potential impurities. I expected this step to take some time, because there were no issues with the other three times I tried it. Maybe switching ovens is what did it. But regardless of the WHY, the entire solution, within the first two hours, left the beaker it was being held in. The mixture somehow ended up on every surface of the inside of the vacuum oven, and there’s hardly 4 mL left. I’ll need to re-do this final synthesis, but need to order more Lithium TFSI in order to do so. This is sounding more like a Science Confessional post than a research update.

So, I was able to successfully synthesize the other three ionic liquids, [Cndmim][TFSI] where n=4,6,8. The yield is contentious, ranging from 60-95%, depending on from where it’s calculated. I should have trusted myself more, and gone for a full yield instead of assuming some imperfections. That may have contributed (somehow) to the recent implosion. The NMR peaks coincide nicely to the literature, and the IR I gathered on the c4dmim matches with the Noack data.

Next week I’ll figure out how to properly synthesize the [C10dmim][TFSI], and may even begin taking viscosity or density data.

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