Ionic liquids are the salts showing unique physiochemical properties of low melting point, good thermal stability, high solvation interactions and excellent ionic conductivity, along with the amphiphilic nature. These make them useful in the catalysis, extraction and separation, lubrication, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Because of their amphiphilic nature, the hydrophobic part tries to reduce contact with polar solvents, hence, aggregates into a micellar structure. As the number of aggregates in the system increases, they mimic a phase at a larger length scale, because of the inter-aggregate interactions. The evolution of phases with complex structure and variation of physical properties is of keen interest in the soft matter industry. In this project, ionic liquids are used to understand the morphological variation and phase evolution in the presence of external shear. The techniques of Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS), rheology and Polarizing Optical Microscopy (POM) are used to deduce the variation in structures and phases in the system with changing the experimental parameters.
Dr. Sajal Ghosh