HDR Seminar: Mr Shurui Miao; The University of Sydney
Monday, 12 September 4:00pm – 5:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Chemistry Lecture Theatre 4 and Online Zoom Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Mr Shurui Miao; The University of Sydney
Supervisor: Prof. Greg Warr
Title: Structure, Dynamics, and Self-assembly in Ionic Liquids
Abstract: The study of liquids and solution processes is at the core of chemistry. Ionic liquids (ILs) are an emerging class of liquids completely made of ions. They often exhibit low vapour pressure and tuneable solvent properties which are desired by many applications and industries. However, their current applications are mostly identified by trial and error. Gaps in our understanding inhibit the rational design and optimisation of these solvent systems. A large part of ongoing IL research is to fill this gap and to understand the structure-property relationships in these liquids. This is also part of a broader scientific endeavour of making modern solution processes more efficient and sustainable by replacing harmful organic solvents with more efficient or biofriendly ILs.
Our work focuses on three aspects of ILs. Firstly, we have studied the molecular arrangement in ILs to understand the origin of liquid structure and how it can be tuned by ion design or additives. Then we investigated the time-dependent aspects of liquid structures that potentially underpin their transportation properties. Finally, to bridge our understanding and the bulk behaviour of ILs as functional solvents, we have examined some model systems involving the self-assembly of surfactants and lipids. Throughout this study, we have revealed unexpected origins of liquid structures, experimentally captured an unseen slow mode of dynamics in structured ILs, and explained unusual self-assembly behaviours in ILs-based solutions. We have demonstrated that ILs are truly designer solvents with many tuneable features, and our work has provided new insights into their design rules.