Break the bond: The dissolution strength of ionic liquids and traditional solvents is studied spectroscopically and computationally for a well-defined model compound of polyols (see picture). Due to a strong hydrogen bond network the alcohol pentaerythritol closely resembles the natural polymer cellulose. Not only the ionic character of the solvent but in particular strong interacting anions are essential for disrupting the hydrogen bond networks and are crucial for its dissolution power.
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