Three sets of ionic liquids such as 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazole chloride [Cnmim]Cl, 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate [Cnmim]Ac and 1-octyl-3-methylimidazole salt [Omim]Y (n = 2, 4, 6, 8, and Y = Cl, BF4, HSO4, Ac and TFO) were used as corrosion inhibitor medium for corrosion protection of carbon steel. Electronic structures and reactivity of these ionic liquids, surface energy and electronic structures of the iron surface were systematically analyzed by density functional theory. By increasing the alkyl chain length of the [Cnmim]Cl and [Cnmim]Ac systems, the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy (ELUMO), the highest occupied molecular orbital energy (EHOMO), the softness (S) and polarizability (α) increased gradually, whereas electronegativity (χ), energy gap (ΔE), hardness (η), dipole moment (μ)and electrophilic index (ω) gradually decreased. For the [Omim]Y system, the structure parameters of ionic liquids are quite different, and only the polarizability (α) decreases gradually by increasing the length of the alkyl chain. The results show that inhibition is mainly [Cnmim]+ cations of the [Cnmim]Cl system, and the order of inhibition efficiency follows as [C2mim]Cl < [C4mim]Cl < [C6mim]Cl < [C8mim]Cl. Both [Cnmim]+ cations and the Ac− anion have inhibition effect for the [Xmim]Ac system, and the order of inhibition efficiency is [C8mim]Ac > [C6mim]Ac > [C4mim]Ac > [C2mim]Ac. For the [Omim]Y system, [Xmim]+ cations and anions (BF4−, HSO4−, Ac−, TfO−) have inhibition effect, and the order of inhibition efficiency is [Omim]TfO > [Omim]Ac > [Omim]HSO4 > [Omim]BF4 > [Omim]Cl.
Part of the book: Density Functional Theory Calculations