Potential solvents identified for building on the moon and Mars

Researchers have taken the first steps toward finding liquid solvents that may someday help extract critical building materials from lunar- and Martian-rock dust, an important part of making long-term space travel possible.

New strategy uses ionic liquids to change laser colors with ease

Lasers are intense beams of colored light. Depending on their color and other properties, they can scan your groceries, cut through metal, eradicate tumors, and even trigger nuclear fusion. But not every laser color is available ...

Creating carbon nanostructures using small organic molecules

Small structures made out of carbons are a useful and versatile tool that can be used across industries, including in water and wastewater treatment, gas and oil, and energy storage. In order to create these nanostructures, ...

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Ionic liquid

Ionic liquids, originally known as liquid electrolytes, ionic melts, ionic fluids, fused salts, liquid salts, or ionic glasses, are liquids comprised predominantly of ions and ion-pairs at some given temperature. Ordinary table salt, or, sodium chloride, consists of sodium cations (Na+) and chloride anions (Cl−) that when heated to several hundred degrees, forms a liquid containing predominantly ions. While many combinations of bulkier and often more asymmetric organic ions also form well defined crystals, with well defined melting points, many instead form glasses prior to thermodynamically stable crystal lattice formation where the cyrstallization kinetics are extremely slow. For example, the salt 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide, [C2mim][N(CN)2], melts at Tm = -21 °C, pyridinium chloride, [PyH]Cl, exhibits a melting point of Tm = 144.5 °C but 1-butyl-3,5-dimethylpyridinium bromide, [N-butyl-3,5-dimethyl-Py]Br, exhibits glass formation at Tg = -24 °C.

The term, ionic liquid, includes all classical molten salts, which are comprised of more thermally stable ions, such as sodium with chloride or potassium with nitrate, and has been attested as early as 1943. Recently, it has come to be used for salts whose melting point is below an arbitrary set point of 100 °C. There also exist mixtures of substances which have low melting points, called deep eutectic solvents, or DES, that have many similarities with ionic liquids.

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