Ion-pairing dynamics of Li+ and SCN- in dimethylformamide solution: Chemical exchange two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy

Kyung Koo Lee, Kwang Hee Park, Donghyun Kwon, Jun Ho Choi, Hyewon Son, Sungnam Park, Minhaeng Cho

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Ultrafast two-dimensional infrared (2DIR) spectroscopy has been proven to be an exceptionally useful method to study chemical exchange processes between different vibrational chromophores under thermal equilibria. Here, we present experimental results on the thermal equilibrium ion pairing dynamics of Li + and SCN- ions in N,N-dimethylformamide. Li+ and SCN- ions can form a contact ion pair (CIP). Varying the relative concentration of Li+ in solution, we could control the equilibrium CIP and free SCN- concentrations. Since the CN stretch frequency of Li-SCN CIP is blue-shifted by about 16 cm-1 from that of free SCN- ion, the CN stretch IR spectrum is a doublet. The temperature-dependent IR absorption spectra reveal that the CIP formation is an endothermic (0.57 kJmol) process and the CIP state has larger entropy by 3.12 J(K mol) than the free ion states. Since the two ionic configurations are spectrally distinguishable, this salt solution is ideally suited for nonlinear IR spectroscopic investigations to study ion pair association and dissociation dynamics. Using polarization-controlled IR pump-probe methods, we first measured the lifetimes and orientational relaxation times of these two forms of ionic configurations. The vibrational population relaxation times of both the free ion and CIP are about 32 ps. However, the orientational relaxation time of the CIP, which is ∼47 ps, is significantly longer than that of the free SCN -, which is ∼7.7 ps. This clearly indicates that the effective moment of inertia of the CIP is much larger than that of the free SCN -. Then, using chemical exchange 2DIR spectroscopy and analyzing the diagonal peak and cross-peak amplitude changes with increasing the waiting time, we determined the contact ion pair association and dissociation time constants that are found to be 165 and 190 ps, respectively. The results presented and discussed in this paper are believed to be important, not only because the ion-pairing dynamics is one of the most fundamental physical chemistry problems but also because such molecular ion-ion interactions are of critical importance in understanding Hofmeister effects on protein stability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064506
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 14

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Grant No. 2010-0005020) to S.P. This work was also supported by NRF (Grant No. 2009-0078897), KBSI (Grant No. T30401), and NRF (Grant No. 2010-0020209) grants to M.C.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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