Seminar Series

All for One or One for All? Ionic liquids and their mixtures as neoteric solvents


Dr Cameron Weber


University of Auckland

Time & Place

Wed, 11 Sep 2019 13:17:00 NZST in Room 701, Level 7, West Building

All are welcome


Ionic liquids (ILs), low melting salts, are being actively explored for a variety of applications ranging from solvents for chemical synthesis, separations and purifications through to energy materials and in drug formulation and delivery. ILs are structurally complex fluids due to the interplay between Coulombic forces and other, weaker, interactions such as hydrogen bonding, π++ stacking and solvophobic forces. These interactions provide the opportunity to achieve new, improved chemical outcomes if the underlying structural effects in ILs and their impact on chemical processes are understood.

This presentation will focus on the link between structure and function for two different classes of ILs. The first are IL mixtures, where two well-characterised ILs are combined with the intention of fine-tuning the properties of the liquid or developing new liquids that have properties unattainable by their constituents alone. The effect of mixing ILs on their structure, as monitored by NMR (1H, 13C and 129Xe), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS),1-3 as well as the link between these structural effects and physical properties will be discussed.

The second class of ILs discussed will be those that contain an amphiphilic nanostructure consisting of well-defined polar and non-polar domains.4, 5 The ability of this nanostructure to influence the local solvation environment of solutes alongside the consequences for chemical reactivity will be described. The implications of these results in terms of the design of ‘smart’ solvents that can achieve targeted reaction outcomes will be discussed.   


  1. N. J. Brooks, F. Castiglione, C. Doherty, A. Dolan, A. J. Hill, P. A. Hunt, R. P. Matthews, M. Mauri, A. Mele, R. Simonutti, I. J. Villar-Garcia, C. C. Weber and T. Welton, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 6359-6374.
  2. R. P. Matthews, I. J. Villar-Garcia, C. C. Weber, J. Griffith, F. Cameron, J. P. Hallett, P. A. Hunt and T. Welton, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016, 18, 8608-8624.
  1. C. C. Weber, N. J. Brooks, F. Castiglione, M. Mauri, R. Simonutti, A. Mele and T. Welton, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, 21, 5999-6010.
  2. C. C. Weber, A. F. Masters and T. Maschmeyer, Green Chem., 2013, 15, 2655-2679.
  1. H. J. Jiang, R. Atkin and G. G. Warr, Curr. Opin. Green Sust. Chem., 2018, 12, 27-32.


All Welcome


Read more about Cameron here.