Ionic liquids and their solid-state analogues as materials for energy generation and storage

Douglas R Macfarlane, Maria Forsyth, Patrick Craig Howlett, Mega Kar, Stefano Passerini, Jennifer Mary Pringle, Hiroyuki Ohno, Masayoshi Watanabe, Feng Yang, Wenjun Zheng, Shiguo Zhang, Jie Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

273 Citations (Scopus)


Salts that are liquid at room temperature, now commonly called ionic liquids, have been known for more than 100 years; however, their unique properties have only come to light in the past two decades. In this Review, we examine recent work in which the properties of ionic liquids have enabled important advances to be made in sustainable energy generation and storage. We discuss the use of ionic liquids as media for synthesis of electromaterials, for example, in the preparation of doped carbons, conducting polymers and intercalation electrode materials. Focusing on their intrinsic ionic conductivity, we examine recent reports of ionic liquids used as electrolytes in emerging high-energy-density and low-cost batteries,including Li-ion, Li–O2, Li–S, Na-ion and Al-ion batteries. Similar developments in electrolyte applications in dye-sensitized solar cells, thermo-electrochemical cells, double-layer capacitors and CO2 reduction are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15005
Number of pages15
JournalNature Reviews Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2016

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