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In this viewpoint we discuss the contributions from John S. Wilkes and Michael J. Zaworotko concerning the discovery of stable ionic liquids (ILs) and their accompanying structural studies (J. Chem. Soc., Chem. Commun., 1992, 965) and Robin D. Rogers and James H. Davis et al. who described the rational modification of ILs for specific applications – so-called task-specific ionic liquids (TSILs) (Chem. Commun., 2001, 135). These were quite simply groundbreaking discoveries that inspired the scientific community, leading to enormous growth in the field and the wide and diverse range of ILs and their applications. The multitude of ‘apps’ of ILs warrants an analogy with the iPhone and our use of the term iLiquids.
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