What is an ionic liquid ? I would say that an ionic liquid is a substance at room temperature which contains ions which are able to move independently of each other. The ionic liquid must be a conductor of electricity, a conductor which conducts through the movement of ions.
Recently it has come to my attention that some people are claiming that the amine oxide (N-methyl morpholine-N-oxide, NMMO) is an ionic liquid because it is an organic liquid which has a + charge and a – charge. Here is NMMO in all its glory.
I hate to have to do this but I have to say that this idea is wrong, N-methyl morpholine-N-oxide is commonly drawn as a zwitterion but it does not form the ions required to make it an ionic liquid. While the liquid is likely to have a large dielectric loss when subject to an AC electric field it is not a conductor of DC current.
In some parts of the chemical literature (processing of cellulose) NMMO has been compared with ionic liquids, but it is not an ionic liquid.
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