Research Topic

Ionic Liquids Interacting at Solid-Like Interfaces: From Inorganic Surfaces to Biological Membranes Towards Bionanotechnology Applications

About this Research Topic

Due to their ionic nature, negligible volatility, highly versatile design, and biocompatibility, Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids (RTILs) can replace standard electrolytes in applications aimed at conversion and storage of energy such as supercapacitors, solar cells, and batteries. In these applications, RTILs are in contact with the solid surface of the electrodes, where the breaking of their bulk symmetry and the strong interactions with the surface of the confining matrix can induce structural reorganizations of the ILs themselves. These IL interfacial modifications also play an important role in the interactions with biologically relevant surfaces, such as phospholipid bilayers, the natural barrier of living cells, and lignocellulosic plant cell walls, through changing their own structural and functional properties. A better understanding of the surface interactions of RTILs with biomembranes could shed light on the environmental impact and toxicity of these RTILs as well their use in bio-nano-technologies. A comprehensive guideline of inorganic surface- and bio-interaction is currently still non-existent; therefore, this Research Topic is devoted in closing these gaps through providing the basis for the synthesis of greener RTILs for industrial applications and for developing breakthrough applications in bio-nanotechnology.

This Research Topic focuses on a few key areas regarding the interaction of RTILs with solid surfaces. First, the reorganization of the RTIL structure upon interaction with solid-like surfaces needs to be investigated, in particular the confinement effects at interfaces and nanostructures. Second, studies on how the biological effects of RTILs link to the microscopic mechanisms of interactions between RTILs and biomembranes or cell walls are needed because the bio-interactions that occur has not been fully discussed. Finally, potential applications of RTILs in bionanotechnology will be explored, in particular the use of RTILs as adjuvant of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Subjects of interest include the following:
• Electrode surface interaction for energy conversion applications
• Nanoconfinement of ionic liquids
• Surface interaction of Ionic liquids with biomembranes
• Ionic liquids for green chemistry: toxicity and biological activity
• Influence of ionic liquids on biomacromolecules (proteins, DNA)
• Biocomplexes with ionic liquids toward pharmacological adjuvant applications


Keywords: Ionic Liquids, solid-like interfaces, nanoconfinement, biological membranes, biocompatible ionogels


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Due to their ionic nature, negligible volatility, highly versatile design, and biocompatibility, Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids (RTILs) can replace standard electrolytes in applications aimed at conversion and storage of energy such as supercapacitors, solar cells, and batteries. In these applications, RTILs are in contact with the solid surface of the electrodes, where the breaking of their bulk symmetry and the strong interactions with the surface of the confining matrix can induce structural reorganizations of the ILs themselves. These IL interfacial modifications also play an important role in the interactions with biologically relevant surfaces, such as phospholipid bilayers, the natural barrier of living cells, and lignocellulosic plant cell walls, through changing their own structural and functional properties. A better understanding of the surface interactions of RTILs with biomembranes could shed light on the environmental impact and toxicity of these RTILs as well their use in bio-nano-technologies. A comprehensive guideline of inorganic surface- and bio-interaction is currently still non-existent; therefore, this Research Topic is devoted in closing these gaps through providing the basis for the synthesis of greener RTILs for industrial applications and for developing breakthrough applications in bio-nanotechnology.

This Research Topic focuses on a few key areas regarding the interaction of RTILs with solid surfaces. First, the reorganization of the RTIL structure upon interaction with solid-like surfaces needs to be investigated, in particular the confinement effects at interfaces and nanostructures. Second, studies on how the biological effects of RTILs link to the microscopic mechanisms of interactions between RTILs and biomembranes or cell walls are needed because the bio-interactions that occur has not been fully discussed. Finally, potential applications of RTILs in bionanotechnology will be explored, in particular the use of RTILs as adjuvant of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Subjects of interest include the following:
• Electrode surface interaction for energy conversion applications
• Nanoconfinement of ionic liquids
• Surface interaction of Ionic liquids with biomembranes
• Ionic liquids for green chemistry: toxicity and biological activity
• Influence of ionic liquids on biomacromolecules (proteins, DNA)
• Biocomplexes with ionic liquids toward pharmacological adjuvant applications


Keywords: Ionic Liquids, solid-like interfaces, nanoconfinement, biological membranes, biocompatible ionogels


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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