Deep eutectic solvents—The vital link between ionic liquids and ionic solutions

Andrew P. Abbott, Karen J. Edler, Alister J. Page

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

33 Citations (SciVal)


When selecting a solvent for a given solute, the strongly held idiom “like dissolves like”, meaning that polar solvents are used for polar solutes, is often used. This idea has resulted from the concept that most molecular solvents are homogeneous. In a deep eutectic solvent (DES), however, both components can be ionic or non-ionic, polar or non-polar. By tuning the components, DESs can solubilize a wide variety of solutes, often mixing hydrophobic and hydrophilic components, and the mixture can be designed to control phase behavior. The liquids often contain significant short-length order, and preferential solvation of one component often occurs. The addition of small polar molecules such as water or alcohols results in non-homogeneous liquids, which have significantly decreased viscosity and increased ionic conductivity. Accordingly, the areas covered in this special issue focus on structure and dynamics, solvation, the mobility of charged species, and the ability to obtain controllable phase behavior by adding polar diluents or using hydrophobic DESs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150401
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number15
Early online date15 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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