Ionic liquids for energy applications
Journal article, 2013
There is an urgent need for new energy storage and conversion systems in order to tackle the environmental problems we face today and to make the transition to a fossil fuel-free society. New batteries, supercapacitors, and fuel cells have the potential to be key devices for large-scale energy storage systems for load leveling and electric vehicles. In many cases, the concepts are known, but the right materials solutions are lacking. Ionic liquids (ILs) have been highlighted as suitable materials to be included in new devices, most commonly as electrolytes. Attractive features of ILs such as high ionic conductivity, low vapor pressure, high thermal and electrochemical stability, large temperature range for the liquid phase, and flexibility in molecular design have drawn the attention of researchers from many different fields. In addition, there is the possibility of designing new materials and morphologies using electrochemical synthesis with ILs. In this article, we provide an introduction to ILs and their properties, serving as a base for the topical articles in this issue.