Synthesis and Characterization of Fluorinated Phosphonium Ionic Liquids to Use as New Engineering Solvents

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In this work, a set of novel fluorinated ionic liquids (FILs), based on different tetraalkyl-phosphonium cations with perfluorobutanesulfonate and perfluoropentanoate anions, were synthesized and characterized in order to check their suitability to apply as engineering solvents. Thermophysical and thermal properties were both determined between 293.15 and 353.15 K, and the molecular volumes and free volumes and the coefficients of isobaric thermal expansion were determined from experimental values of refractive index and density. Lastly, the Walden plot was used to evaluate the ionicity of the novel FILs. The cytotoxicity of these compounds was also determined using the human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2) and the human colon carcinoma cells (Caco-2). Finally, the results were all discussed with the aim of understanding the behaviour of these compounds, considering the influence of the anion and the hydrogenated alkyl chain length. In summary, the new FILs synthesized in this work present adequate properties for their application in different industrial processes. Most of these compounds are liquid at room temperature with high decomposition temperatures. All phosphonium-based FILs have lower densities than conventional ionic liquids and common organic solvents, and the viscosity depends directly on the selected anion. Furthermore, the ionicity of FILs based on the sulfonate anion is higher than those based on the carboxylate anion. Finally, the phosphonium-based FILs have no significant effect on cellular viability at lower concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2022


  • cytotoxicity
  • fluorinated ionic liquids
  • synthesis
  • thermal properties
  • thermophysical properties


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