The nature of ionic liquids in the gas phase

João P. Leal, José M. S. S. Esperança, Manuel E. Minas Da Piedade, José N. Canongia Lopes, Luís P. N. Rebelo, Kenneth R. Seddon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)


Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) experiments showed that when aprotic ionic liquids vaporize under pressure and temperature conditions similar to those of a reduced-pressure distillation, the gas phase is composed of discrete anion-cation pairs. The evolution of the mass spectrometric signals recorded during fractional distillations of binary ionic liquid mixtures allowed us to monitor the changes of the gas-phase composition and the relative volatility of the components. In addition, we have studied a protic ionic liquid, and demonstrated that it exists as separated neutral molecules in the gas phase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6176-6182
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2007


  • Ionic liquids
  • Binary mixtures
  • Pure ionic


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