Stability of Quadruple Hydrogen Bonds in an Ionic Liquid Environment

Li, C. et. al., Macromol. Raid Commun., 2023,  2300464 

Hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) are highly sensitive to the surrounding environments owing to their dipolar nature, with polar solvents kown to significantly weaken H-bonds. Herein, the stability of the H-bonding motif ureidopyrimidinone (UPy) is investigated, embedded into a highly polar polymeric ionic liquid (PIL) consisting of pendant pyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide (IL) moieties, to study the influence of such ionic environments on the UPy H-bonds. The content of the surrounding IL is changed by addition of an additional low molecular weight IL to further boost the IL content around the UPy moieties in molar ratios of UPy/IL ranging from 1/4 up to 1/113, thereby promoting the polar microenvironment around the UPy-H-bonds. Variable-temperature solid-state MAS NMR spectroscopy and FT-IR spectroscopy demonstrate that the UPy H-bonds are largely present as (UPy-) dimers, but sensitive to elevated temperatures (>70 °C). Subsequent rheology and DSC studies reveal that the ILs only solvate the polymeric chains but do not interfere with the UPy-dimer H-bonds, thus accounting for their high stability and applicability in many material systems. © 2023 The Authors. Macromolecular Rapid Communications published by Wiley‐VCH GmbH