'Liquid forensics' could lead to safer drinking water

Ping! The popular 1990 film, The Hunt for Red October, helped introduce sonar technology on submarines to pop culture. Now, nearly 30 years later, a team of scientists at the University of Missouri is using this same sonar ...

Sliding along on water

Machine bearings are usually lubricated with various oils. But today large quantities of these oils still end up in the environment. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM has developed a method which will ...

Upcycling process brings new life to old jeans

A growing population, rising standards of living and quickly changing fashions send mountains of clothing waste to the world's landfills each year. Although processes for textile recycling exist, they tend to be inefficient ...

Cleaning up with cellulose

Selectively permeable membranes made from renewable plant-based materials could significantly improve the environmental credentials of the chemical industry. A KAUST team has tested the viability of cellulose membranes to ...

Developing environmentally friendly materials

A new research article introduces a nanofiber material produced by the electrospinning device at the Laboratory of Polymers and Textile Technology in Tallinn University of Technology, and a range of applications. The article, ...

Another step closer to tunable liquids

Using electrical fields to modify the properties of liquids in contact with a surface can be used in several applications, such as electrophoresis, where an electric current can separate molecules by size. Researchers at ...

Insulator becomes conductor at the push of a button

Ionic liquids are important in scientific research because they can apply a lot of charge over a surface. Physicists from Leiden University have now found that the charging process of ionic liquids depends purely on opposite ...

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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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