Jean'ne M. Shreeve, Department of Chemistry, University of Idaho, is supported by the Inorganic, Bioinorganic and Organometallic Chemistry Program to synthesize and study new ionic liquids containing perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl ether groups. Imidazolium, triazolium and tetrazolium cations will be treated with various strong alkylating agents to provide mono-, di- and poly-perfluoroalkylated ionic liquids. Polydentate centers or templates, including phosphazenes, triazines, macrocyclic amines, bipyridines and polymeric phosphazenes and azines will also be perfluoro- or polyfluoroalkylated to give new types of fluorinated ionic liquids. The fluorinated ionic liquids are expected to have higher densities, higher thermal stabilities, higher oxidation resistance and controlled viscosities than current non-fluorinated ionic liquids.
Ionic liquids, or molten salts, are attractive alternatives to volatile organic compounds as solvents. The desirable properties of ionic liquids include a wide useful temperature range, low vapor pressure, thermal and chemical stability with tunable viscosity and density. They are also being explored as low/high temperature fluids, lubricants in extreme environments and as electrolytes in fuel cells. This project will develop a new class of fluorinated ionic liquids. Undergraduate, graduate student and postdoctoral researchers will learn valuable technical skills and gain experience in experimental design and application of new materials to real world needs. This project also supports outreach efforts to two-year and four-year college faculty.