Room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) are alternatives to organic solvents that are non-volatile and non-flammable. They also benefit from the tuneability of their solvent and other properties by appropriate choice of anion and cation. The discovery of RTILs based on amino acids opened up novel applications in the biosciences.
Researchers in Japan have found that creating a binary mixture of RTIL and phosphonium-type zwitterions can lead to gelation of the liquid without loss of the inherent properties of the solvent. This could endow them with temperature-controlled ion-transport properties.
- Gelation of an amino acid ionic liquid by the addition of a phosphonium-type zwitterions
S. Taguchi, T. Matsumoto, T. Ichikawa, T. Kato, H. Ohno,
Chem. Commun. 2011.