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Going full circle: Phase-transition thermodynamics of ionic liquids
We present the full enthalpic phase transition cycle for ionic liquids (ILs) as examples of non-classical salts. The cycle was closed for the lattice, solvation, dissociation, and vaporization enthalpies of 30 different ILs, relying on as much experimental data as was available. High-quality dissociation enthalpies were calculated at the G3 MP2 level. From the cycle, we could establish, for the first time, the lattice and solvation enthalpies of ILs with imidazolium ions. For vaporization, lattice, and dissociation enthalpies, we also developed new prediction methods in the course of our investigations. Here, as only single-ion values need to be calculated and the tedious optimization of an ion pair can be circumvented, the computational time is short. For the vaporization enthalpy, a very simple approach was found, using a surface term and the calculated enthalpic correction to the total gas-phase energy. For the lattice enthalpy, the most important constituent proved to be the calculated conductor-like screening model (COSMO) solvation enthalpy in the ideal electric conductor. A similar model was developed for the dissociation enthalpy. According to our assessment, the typical error of the lattice enthalpy would be 9.4 kJ mol−1, which is less than half the deviation we get when using the (optimized) Kapustinskii equation or the recent volume-based thermodynamics (VBT) theory. In contrast, the non-optimized VBT formula gives lattice enthalpies 20 to 140 kJ mol−1 lower than the ones we assessed in the cycle, because of the insufficient description of dispersive interactions. Our findings show that quantum-chemical calculations can greatly improve the VBT approaches, which were parameterized for simple, inorganic salts with ideally point-shaped charges. In conclusion, we suggest the term "augmented VBT", or "aVBT", to describe this kind of theoretical approach.