Ionic liquids: “normal” solvents or nanostructured fluids?
Ionic liquids (ILs) are a class of non-conventional solvents, which, for almost two decades, have continued to generate burgeoning interest in different fields of present-day chemical research with few similar precedents. Among the various aspects related to ILs, a topic worthy of in-depth analysis is their influence on organic reactivity and reaction rates. In light of this, the present short review aims to provide an overview of the literature from 2010 to the present day that addresses this issue. In particular, we herein present two main different viewpoints by which the solvent effect of ILs is explained: the first is mainly based on considering the bulk polarity of ILs and linear solvation energy relationships, while the other treats ILs as nanostructured fluids. In both cases, studies dealing with IL mixtures are also covered. Finally, literature addressing the area of supramolecular catalysis “by” or “in” ILs is also reported. This is one of the few reviews covering these specific aspects, aiming to provide a useful framework to guide future research into the effects of ILs on organic reactivity.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Non-traditional solvent effects in organic reactions