Solvation and stabilization of palladium nanoparticles in phosphonium-based ionic liquids: a combined infrared spectroscopic and density functional theory study
Analysis of infrared spectra of palladium nanoparticles (NPs) immersed in the tri-tert-butyl-R-phosphonium-based ionic liquids (ILs) demonstrates that both cations and anions of the ILs interact with the NPs. According to quantum-chemical simulations of these interactions, the binding energy of anions to the Pd-6 cluster, taken as a minimal-size model of the NPs, increases from similar to 6 to similar to 27 kcal mol(-1) in the order [PF6](-) approximate to [BF4](-) < [Tf2N](-) < [OTf](-) < [Br](-) << [TFA](-). In contrast, the binding energy for all types of the [(Bu3PR)-P-t](+) cations slightly varies at about similar to 22 kcal mol(-1) only moderately depending on the choice of the R moiety (n-pentyl, 2-hydroxyethyl, 2-methoxyethyl, 2-ethoxy-2-oxoethyl). As a result, the energies of interaction between a Pd-6 cluster and various ion pairs, formed by the abovementioned counter-ions, follow the order found for the anions and vary from similar to 24 to similar to 47 kcal mol(-1). These values are smaller than the energy of addition of a Pd atom to a Pd-n cluster (similar to 58 kcal mol(-1)), which suggests kinetic stabilization of the NPs in phosphonium-based ILs rather than thermodynamic stabilization. The results are qualitatively similar to the trends found earlier for interactions between palladium clusters and components of imidazolium-based ILs, in spite of much larger contributions of the London dispersion forces to the binding of the [(Bu3PR)-P-t](+) cations to the cluster (up to 80%) relative to the case of 1-R-3-methylimidazolium cations (up to 40%).