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Molecular simulations of new ammonium-based ionic liquids as environmentally acceptable lubricant oils

Abstract : The aim of the present work is to understand at the molecular level the structure and interactions of ionic liquids at metallic surfaces, using molecular dynamics simulations, and to investigate the impact that these microscopic features can have in the tribological properties of the system. The chosen ionic liquids as potential lubricant oils present suitable ecotoxic and biodegradable properties and appropriate tribological characteristics. They are based in alkylammonium cations combined with alkylsulfonate and bistriflamide anions. Our study is divided in four parts, starting from the analyses of pure ionic liquids solutions and evolving to systems of ionic liquids confined between surfaces of iron, at the equilibrium, under shear and also in the presence of water. Structural and dynamic properties of ionic liquids are investigated in terms of the site-site radial distribution functions and the self-diffusion coefficients. The presence of charge-ordering and the formation of micro-domains in solution are discussed, as well as the diffusive behavior of the ionic species. An atomistic force field for ionic liquids interacting with a metal surface was built based on quantum methods. Density functional calculations of alkylammonium cations, alkylsulfonate and bistriflamide anions interacting with a cluster of iron atoms are performed, at a series of distances and orientations. A site-site potential function was then adjusted to the DFT interactions energies, to obtain the force field parameters. Finally, the polarization of the metal by the ions was taken into account using induced dipoles to reproduce the interaction energy between charges and a conductor surface. Using this interaction model, molecular dynamics simulations were performed to study the structure of the interfacial layer of several ionic liquids at a flat iron surface, including analyses of the positional and orientational ordering of the ions near the surface, and charge density profiles. Non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of ionic liquids interacting with iron surfaces were carried out using the specific set of interaction parameters developed previously. A procedure was developed for a quantitative prediction of the friction coefficient at different loads and shear rates, based in a definition of pressure measured locally. The dependence of friction on the load, shear velocity, surface topology and length of alkyl side chains in the ionic liquid was investigated. The changes in the frictional forces were explained in terms of the specific arrangements and orientations of groups forming the ionic liquid at the vicinity of the surface. Finally, the effect of the presence of water in a small quantity in an ionic liquid solution is also studied at equilibrium and non-equilibrium. An interaction potential was build that describes the interaction between water and an iron surface, using the same approach described previously. Preliminary results are presented on the structure at the metal–liquid interface and friction coefficient, and compared with the pure ionic liquids.
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Ana Catarina Fernandes Mendonça. Molecular simulations of new ammonium-based ionic liquids as environmentally acceptable lubricant oils. Other. Université Blaise Pascal - Clermont-Ferrand II, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013CLF22341⟩. ⟨tel-00857336⟩

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