Ionic Liquids: Catalysts, Soft Materials and Solvents
Ionic liquids are salts with unusually low melting points, often lower than ambient temperature. Comprised entirely of ions, they have a range of properties that set them apart from molecular liquids: many ionic liquids have a liquidus range spanning several hundreds of °C, most of them do not evaporate and do not burn, and many have very wide electrochemical windows.
This talk will provide an overview of some interesting fundamental properties of ionic liquids, which are hard to observe or measure in other media, as well as some of their applications: as catalysts, solvents and soft materials. The focus will be on applications recently developed in our group, with a focus on sustainable technologies required to address the climate emergency.
Małgorzata Swadźba-KwaśnyQueen's University Belfast, UK
Prof Małgorzata Swadźba-Kwaśny (Gosia) obtained her MSc (2005) from the Silesian University of Technology, Poland (Chrobok group), and her PhD (2009) from the QUILL Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast (Seddon group). After several years of post-doctoral projects, Gosia has secured an independent Fellowship and established her own research group at QUB. Currently, she is the Director of QUILL and a Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast.
Gosia works on ionic liquids and other advanced liquid materials. In the fundamental strand of her work, she designs new acidic and metal-containing ionic liquids, harnessing discoveries in the field of main group chemistry, with particular focus on boron. Gosia’s research group study the structure and reactivity of liquids at a molecular level, using both in-house spectroscopic and scattering techniques and synchrotron-based techniques (XAS and neutron scattering). In parallel, her group works on applied projects of industrial interest, often directly with industrial partners, where they use ionic liquids as sustainable alternatives to existing catalysts and materials. This includes, for example, the use of acidic ionic liquids as catalysts in the valorisation of plastic waste streams, as precursors in the synthesis of semiconductor materials, or as additives in technological fluids formulations.