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  • Author or Editor: Colin F. Poole x
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Room temperature ionic liquids are a new class of solvents of potential interest for liquid chromatography. Ionic liquids possess a combination of physical and solvation properties that are complementary to conventional organic solvents. Applications in liquid chromatography are currently limited by their unfavorable viscosity and low-wavelength absorption in the ultraviolet (UV) region. In addition, for planar chromatography, the absence of a vapor pressure does not allow evaporation of ionic liquid solvents after development. The room temperature ionic liquids are good solvents for nonionic compounds with a different blend of intermolecular interactions compared with conventional organic solvents as indicated by solvatochromic measurements and the system constants of the solvation parameter model. Current applications in column and planar chromatography are reviewed to demonstrate the potential of room temperature ionic liquids as mobile phases or mobile phase additives in separation science. A real breakthrough in their use, however, requires the identification of new room temperature ionic liquids with viscosity closer to those of conventional organic solvents as well as addressing other minor issues described in the text.

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