(247g) Exploring of the Pre-Polymerization Coordination of 1-Vinylimidazole Conference: AIChE Annual MeetingYear: 2015Proceeding: 2015 AIChE Annual MeetingGroup: Computational Molecular Science and Engineering ForumSession: Poster Session: Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum (CoMSEF) Time: Monday, November 9, 2015 - 6:00pm-8:00pm Authors: Abedini, A., The University of Alabama Hamilton, J. R., The University of Alabama Turner, C. H., The University of Alabama Whitley, J. W., University of Alabama Bara, J. E., University of Alabama In bulk photopolymerization, it can be difficult to maintain a high reaction rate and achieve complete conversion. To alleviate these challenges, several methods have been explored to improve the mass transfer of the monomers in the reaction mixtures. One of the most prevalent strategies is to increase the local monomer concentration in the mixture, both before polymerization and during the polymerization process. Since the thermochemical properties of the solution will change during polymerization, the availability of monomers to react with active sites, both before and during the reaction, will affect the overall reaction rate and conversion of the polymerization . Poly(vinylimidazole) (poly-VIm) has a multiple range of applications, including: coating electrodes , adhesive development , fuel cell membranes , CO2 and metal ion adsorption , and biomedical application. Also, it is one of the ionic liquid (IL) coordinated polymers that has received a great deal of attention in radical polymerization. Previous experimental studies have indicated that cations (Zn2+, AL3+, Li+, and Mg2+) can increase both the reaction rate and the monomer conversion in radical polymerization, since the cations can form favorable complexes with the monomers . While most of the past polymerization work has dealt with finding conventional solvents and salts to enhance polymerization , more recent research has considered ILs as promising additives for these reactions . These recent experimental results indicate that polymerizable monomers coordinated with ILs, formed from weakly coordinating anions and cations, can enhance polymerization reaction kinetics . Lithium bistriflimide (LiTf2N) is one of the ILs that has been investigated experimentally in the polymerization of VIm. This IL had a substantial effect on increasing reaction kinetics, since mass transfer is a major limitation in this photopolymerization reaction. The addition of LiTF2N leads to 100% monomer conversion in the 1VIm: 1Tf2N solution, as reported by Whitley et al. . Different concentrations of LiTf2N with VIm show interesting behavior. Though the initial reaction rate of the 1:1 (VIm:LiTf2N) solution is lower than neat VIm polymerization, the final monomer conversion for the 1:1 solution is higher and reaches 100% conversion after about 30 min. The initial reaction rate for the 1:1 molar concentration is lower in comparison to the other molar concentrations (2:1 and 3:1) . This observed behavior (higher conversion and lower initiating reaction) needs to be fundamentally explored. Currently, there is no direct explanation for this phenomenon, and the molecular-level interactions in this type of system are unknown. While Li+ has been experimentally found  to interact with 3 Tf2N- anions, we have conducted a thorough investigation of the Li+ cation interactions in the VIm:LiTf2N system, in comparison to another cation (Na+) and other anions (BF4- and PF6-). In order to develop a broad understanding of the polymerization dynamics, polymer structure, and properties, the molecular-level pre-polymerization structure of this mixture needs to be clearly quantified. In this work, molecular dynamics simulations of different VIm:LiTf2N solutions show that Li+ locally enriches key reaction sites involved in polymerization. This local enhancement of site-site interactions is suggested to play a vital role in the experimentally observed improvement in polymerization behavior. References:  Whitley J.W, Horne W.J, Danielsen S.P.O.; Shannon M.S, Marshall J.E, Hayward S.H, Gaddis C.J, Bara J.E. Enhanced photopolymerization rate & conversion of 1-vinylimidazole in the presence of lithium bistriflimide. European Polymer Journal 2014, 60, 92-97.  Yildiz G, Oztekin N, Orbay A, Senkal F. Voltammetric determination of nitrite in meat products using polyvinylimidazole modified carbon paste electrode. Food Chemistry 2014, 152, 245-250.  Fink JK. Handbook of engineering and specialty thermoplastics: water soluble polymers. Salem, MA: Scrivener: 2011.  MacAodha D, Conghaile P.O, Egan B, Kavanagh P, Leech D. Membraneless glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cells using redox hydrogel films containing carbon nanotubes. ChemPhysChem 2013, 14 (10), 2302-2307.  Farjaminezhad M, Tehrani M.S, Azar P.A, Hussain S.W, Bohlooli S. Polyvinylimidazole/sol-gel composite as a novel solid-phase microextraction coating for the determination of halogenated benzenes from aqueous solutions. Journal of Separation Science 2014, 37 (12), 1475-1481.  Corazza M.Z, Ribeiro E.S, Segatelli M.G, Tarley C.R.T. Study of cross-linked poly(methacrylic acid) and polyvinylimidazole as selective adsorbents for on-line preconcentration and redox speciation of chromium with flame atomic absorption spectrometry determination. Microchemical Journal 2014, 117, 18-26.  Wang R.X, Men J.Y, Gao B.J. The adsorption behavior of functional particles modified by polyvinylimidazole for Cu(II) ion. Clean-Soil Air Water 2012, 40 (3), 278-284.  Anderson EB, Long TE, Imidazole- and imidazolium-containing polymers for biology and material science applications. Polymer 2010, 51 (12), 2447-2454.  Gromov V.F, Osmanov T.O, Khomikovskii P.M, Abkin A.D. Polymerization of acrylamide in various solvents in the presence of lewis acids. European Polymer Journal 1980, 16 (9), 803-808.  Pedron S, Guzman J, Garcia N. Polymerization kinetics of ethylene oxide methacrylates in ionic media. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2011, 212 (8), 860-869.