Electrochemistry of sulfur and polysulfides in ionic liquids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Ninie S A Manan
  • Leigh Aldous
  • Yatimah Alias
  • Lesley J Yellowlees
  • M Cristina Lagunas
  • Christopher Hardacre

Colleges, School and Institutes


The electrochemistry of elemental sulfur (S(8)) and the polysulfides Na(2)S(4) and Na(2)S(6) has been studied for the first time in nonchloroaluminate ionic liquids. The cyclic voltammetry of S(8) in the ionic liquids is different to the behavior reported in some organic solvents, with two reductions and one oxidation peak observed. Supported by in situ UV-vis spectro-electrochemical experiments, the main reduction products of S(8) in [C(4)mim][DCA] ([C(4)mim] = 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium; DCA = dicyanamide) have been identified as S(6)(2-) and S(4)(2-), and plausible pathways for the formation of these species are proposed. Dissociation and/or disproportionation of the polyanions S(6)(2-) and S(4)(2-) appears to be slow in the ionic liquid, with only small amounts of the blue radical species S(3)(•-) formed in the solutions at r.t., in contrast with that observed in most molecular solvents.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13873-9
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2011