Theory of Phase Separation and Polarization for Pure Ionic Liquids

Nir Gavish, Arik Yochelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Room temperature ionic liquids are attractive to numerous applications and particularly, to renewable energy devices. As solvent free electrolytes, they demonstrate a paramount connection between the material morphology and Coulombic interactions: the electrode/RTIL interface is believed to be a product of both polarization and spatiotemporal bulk properties. Yet, theoretical studies have dealt almost exclusively with independent models of morphology and electrokinetics. Introduction of a distinct Cahn-Hilliard-Poisson type mean-field framework for pure molten salts (i.e., in the absence of any neutral component), allows a systematic coupling between morphological evolution and the electrokinetic phenomena, such as transient currents. Specifically, linear analysis shows that spatially periodic patterns form via a finite wavenumber instability and numerical simulations demonstrate that while labyrinthine type patterns develop in the bulk, lamellar structures are favored near charged surfaces. The results demonstrate a qualitative phenomenology that is observed empirically and thus, provide a physically consistent methodology to incorporate phase separation properties into an electrochemical framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1126
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - 21 Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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