Applications such as gas storage, gas separation, NP synthesis and supported ionic liquid phase catalysis depend upon the interaction of different species with the ionic liquid/gas surface. Consequently, these applications cannot proceed to the full extent of their potential without a profound understanding of the surface structure and properties. As a whole, this perspective contains more questions than answers, which demonstrates the current state of the field. Throughout this perspective, crucial questions are posed and a roadmap is proposed to answer these questions. A critical analysis is made of the field of ionic liquid/gas surface structure and properties, and a number of design rules are mined. The effects of ionic additives on the ionic liquid/gas surface structure are presented. A possible driving force for surface formation is discussed that has, to the best of my knowledge, not been postulated in the literature to date. This driving force suggests that for systems composed solely of ions, the rules for surface formation of dilute electrolytes do not apply. The interaction of neutral additives with the ionic liquid/gas surface is discussed. Particular attention is focussed upon H2O and CO2, vital additives for many applications of ionic liquids. Correlations between ionic liquid/gas surface structure and properties, ionic liquid surfaces plus additives, and ionic liquid applications are given.
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Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
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