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Ionic Liquids, GUMBOS, and NanoGUMBOS:  A Materials Approach to Analytical Chemistry


Isiah M. Warner, PhD

Visiting Scholar, Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati; Boyd Professor Emeritus of LSU


In recent years, much of my research has focused in the general area of analytical applications of ionic liquids where ionic liquids are defined as organic salts whose melting points are below 100 °C. The unique and tunable properties of ionic liquids have garnered much attention, primarily because of their low melting points, ease of syntheses, and unique solvation properties. However, ionic liquids whose melting points are above room temperature are solid phase materials and are often described as frozen ionic liquids. My research over the past few years has involved the application of ionic liquids in both the liquid and solid phase. In regard to solid phase ionic liquids, my research has demonstrated the unique properties of solid phase organic salts with the unique tunability of ionic liquids. In describing these materials, we have coined the acronym, GUMBOS, i.e. a group of uniform materials based on organic salts. We have also designated such materials as having the expanded melting point range of 25 °C to 250 °C. Since these materials have similar tunability to ionic liquids, they can best be described as designer solid phase materials. In this talk, I will describe my recent studies using ionic liquids and GUMBOS. The unique properties and applications of nanomaterials derived from GUMBOS, i.e. nanoGUMBOS, will also be highlighted. We note that in combining the distinct tunability of ionic liquids with the well-documented applications of nanoparticles, we have engineered a new class of nanomaterials with wide general applicability. Several applications of traditional ionic liquids, GUMBOS, and nanoGUMBOS will be highlighted with applications in the areas of medicine, sensors, and material science.

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