The Observation of Dianions Generated by Electrochemical Reduction oftrans-Stilbenes in Ionic Liquids at Room Temperature Academic Article uri icon


  • Three highly aprotic bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)amide (NTf2(-)) based ionic liquids (ILs) containing the cations trihexyl(tetradecyl)phosphonium (P6,6,6,14(+)), N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium (Pyrr4,1(+)), and (trimethylamine)(dimethylethylammine)dihydroborate ((N111)(N112)BH2(+)) have been examined as media for room temperature voltammetric detection of highly basic stilbene dianions electrochemically generated by the reduction of trans-stilbene (t-Stb) and its derivatives (4-methoxy-, 2-methoxy-, 4,4'-dimethyl-, and 4-chloromethyl-). Transient and steady-state data in the ILs were compared with results obtained in the molecular solvent acetonitrile. In all media examined, the t-Stb(0/•-) process is chemically and electrochemically reversible with a heterogeneous charge transfer rate constant in CH3CN of 1.5 cm s(-1), as determined by Fourier transformed AC voltammetry. However, further reduction to the dianion was always irreversible in this molecular but weakly acidic solvent. On the other hand, a substantial level of chemical reversibility for the reduction of t-Stb(•-) to t-Stb(2-) on the time scale of cyclic voltammetry is achieved when the concentration of trans-stilbene, [t-Stb], appreciably exceeds the concentration of adventitious water or other proton sources. In particular, these conditions are met when [t-Stb] ≥ 0.1 M in thoroughly dehydrated and purified ILs, while in the presence of CH3CN, t-Stb(2-) still suffers fast irreversible protonation under these stilbene concentration conditions. The E0/•-(0) values (vs Fc(0/+)) for substituted trans-stilbenes in acetonitrile and (N111)(N112)BH2-NTf2 do not differ substantially, nor do the E0/•-(0) and E•-/2-(0) differences or other aspects of the voltammetric behavior.


  • Abdul-Rahim, Omar
  • Simonov, Alexandr N
  • Rüther, Thomas
  • Boas, John F
  • Torriero, Angel AJ
  • Collins, David J
  • Perlmutter, Patrick
  • Bond, Alan M

publication date

  • June 18, 2013