A New Solid-State Proton Conductor: The Salt Hydrate Based on Imidazolium and 12-Tungstophosphate
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

We report the structure and charge transport properties of a novel solid-state proton conductor obtained by acid-base chemistry via proton transfer from 12-tungstophosphoric acid to imidazole. The resulting material (henceforth named Imid3WP) is a solid salt hydrate that, at room temperature, includes four water molecules per structural unit. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to tune the properties of a heteropolyacid-based solid-state proton conductor by means of a mixture of water and imidazole, interpolating between water-based and ionic liquid-based proton conductors of high thermal and electrochemical stability. The proton conductivity of Imid3WP·4H2O measured at truly anhydrous conditions reads 0.8 × 10-6 S cm-1 at 322 K, which is higher than the conductivity reported for any other related salt hydrate, despite the lower hydration. In the pseudoanhydrous state, that is, for Imid3WP·2H2O, the proton conductivity is still remarkable and, judging from the low activation energy (Ea = 0.26 eV), attributed to structural diffusion of protons. From complementary X-ray diffraction data, vibrational spectroscopy, and solid-state NMR experiments, the local structure of this salt hydrate was resolved, with imidazolium cations preferably orienting flat on the surface of the tungstophosphate anions, thus achieving a densely packed solid material, and water molecules of hydration that establish extremely strong hydrogen bonds. Computational results confirm these structural details and also evidence that the path of lowest energy for the proton transfer involves primarily imidazole and water molecules, while the proximate Keggin anion contributes with reducing the energy barrier for this particular pathway.


Anna Martinelli

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Tillämpad kemi

José M. Otero-Mato

Universidade de Santiagode Compostela

Mounesha Garaga Nagendrachar

Dalhousie University

Khalid Elamin

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Tillämpad kemi

Habibur Seikh Mohammad Rahman

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Energi och material

Josef W. Zwanziger

Dalhousie University

Ulrike Werner-Zwanziger

Dalhousie University

Luis M. Varela

Universidade de Santiagode Compostela

Journal of the American Chemical Society

0002-7863 (ISSN) 1520-5126 (eISSN)

Vol. 143 34 13895-13907


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