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Issue 28, 2015
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Nanoparticles in ionic liquids: interactions and organization

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Ionic liquids (ILs), defined as low-melting organic salts, are a novel class of compounds with unique properties and a combinatorially great chemical diversity. Ionic liquids are utilized as synthesis and dispersion media for nanoparticles as well as for surface functionalization. Ionic liquid and nanoparticle hybrid systems are governed by a combined effect of several intermolecular interactions between their constituents. For each interaction, including van der Waals, electrostatic, structural, solvophobic, steric, and hydrogen bonding, the characterization and quantitative calculation methods together with factors affecting these interactions are reviewed here. Various self-organized structures based on nanoparticles in ionic liquids are generated as a result of a balance of these intermolecular interactions. These structures, including colloidal glasses and gels, lyotropic liquid crystals, nanoparticle-stabilized ionic liquid-containing emulsions, ionic liquid surface-functionalized nanoparticles, and nanoscale ionic materials, possess properties of both ionic liquids and nanoparticles, which render them useful as novel materials especially in electrochemical and catalysis applications. This review of the interactions within nanoparticle dispersions in ionic liquids and of the structure of nanoparticle and ionic liquid hybrids provides guidance on the rational design of novel ionic liquid-based materials, enabling applications in broad areas.

Graphical abstract: Nanoparticles in ionic liquids: interactions and organization

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Article information

19 Mar 2015
10 Jun 2015
First published
29 Jun 2015

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 18238-18261
Article type
Author version available

Nanoparticles in ionic liquids: interactions and organization

Z. He and P. Alexandridis, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 18238
DOI: 10.1039/C5CP01620G

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