Imperial College London

Prof Milo Shaffer

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Professor of Materials Chemistry



+44 (0)20 7594 5825m.shaffer Website




Mr John Murrell +44 (0)20 7594 2845




M221Royal College of ScienceSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Basma, NS and Headen, TF and Shaffer, MSP and Skipper, NT and Howard, CA},
doi = {10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b08020},
journal = {Journal of Physical Chemistry B},
pages = {8963--8971},
title = {Local structure and polar order in liquid N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)},
url = {},
volume = {122},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) is an exceptional solvent, widely used in industry and for nanomaterials processing. Yet despite its ubiquity, its liquid structure, which ultimately dictates its solvation properties, is not fully known. Here, neutron scattering is used to determine NMP’s structure in unprecedented detail. Two dominant nearest-neighbor arrangements are found, where rings are parallel or perpendicular. However, compared with related solvents, NMP has a relatively large population of parallel approaches, similar only to benzene, despite its nonaromaticity and the presence of the normally structure-reducing methyl group. This arrangement is underpinned by NMP’s dipole moment, which has a profound effect on its structure: nearest-neighbor molecules arrange in an antiparallel but offset fashion. This polar-induced order extends beyond the first solvation shell, resulting in ordered trimers that reach the nanometer range. The degree of order and balance of interactions rationalize NMP’s high boiling point and versatile capabilities to solvate both charged and uncharged species.
AU - Basma,NS
AU - Headen,TF
AU - Shaffer,MSP
AU - Skipper,NT
AU - Howard,CA
DO - 10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b08020
EP - 8971
PY - 2018///
SN - 1520-5207
SP - 8963
TI - Local structure and polar order in liquid N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)
T2 - Journal of Physical Chemistry B
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 122
ER -