Theoretical aspects of ionic liquids for soft‐matter sciences

Issei Nakamura, Michigan Technological University
Cameron John Shock, Michigan Technological University
Lisa Eggart, Michigan Technological University
Tong Gao, Michigan Technological University


The thermodynamic and electrochemical properties of ionic liquids produce a broad spectrum of unconventional phenomena both microscopically and macroscopically. However, despite numerous theoretical and experimental studies, the fundamental roles of the relevant interactions such as electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonding often remain unclear at the molecular level. The complexity of the molecular interactions typically increases when ionic liquids dissolve polymers or polar substances such as water.Accordingly, recent studies have revealed new features of ionic liquids. Further insights into the role of the molecular polarity of ionic liquids are required. This article presents an overview of the important phenomena of ionic liquids concerning soft-matter sciences based on selected experimental and theoretical studies. We focus on the effect of the dielectric response of ionic liquids to distinguish ionic liquids from common inorganic salts, such as alkali metal halides.