Morphology changes of ionic liquid encapsulating polymer microcontainers upon X-ray irradiation
Microencapsulated ionic liquids represent a novel type of material with high potential for various applications in chemical synthesis, catalysis or separation processes. We present a detailed morphological analysis of this material by means of two imaging techniques, i.e., scanning transmission X-ray microspectroscopy (STXM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). While TEM can be utilized only in the dry state, STXM offers access to high-resolution imaging in liquid surroundings. In either case prolonged illumination leads to degradation of the stabilizing polymer. We discuss potential scenarios, e.g., formation of perforations within the polymer shell, to explain the experimental findings.