Targeted modifications in ionic liquids – from understanding to design†
Ionic liquids are extremely versatile and continue to find new applications in academia as well as industry. This versatility is rooted in the manifold of possible ion types, ion combinations, and ion variations. However, to fully exploit this versatility, it is imperative to understand how the properties of ionic liquids arise from their constituents. In this work, we discuss targeted modifications as a powerful tool to provide understanding and to enable design. A ‘targeted modification’ is a deliberate change in the structure of an ionic liquid. This includes chemical changes in an experiment as well as changes to the parameterisation in a computer simulation. In any case, such a change must be purposeful to isolate what is of interest, studying, as far as is possible, only one concept at a time. The concepts can then be used as design elements. However, it is often found that several design elements interact with each other – sometimes synergistically, and other times antagonistically. Targeted modifications are a systematic way of navigating these overlaps. We hope this paper shows that understanding ionic liquids requires experimentalists and theoreticians to join forces and provides a tool to tackle the difficult transition from understanding to design.
- This article is part of the themed collections: #RSCPoster Twitter Conference and PCCP Perspectives