Chair for Crystallography and Structural Physics
Phone: +49 9131 85-25192
Fax: +49 9131 85-25182
My research revolves around structuring phenomena in room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) at the solid/liquid interface. Ionic liquids are typically defined as molten salts with a freezing point at or below ambient temperature. Unique physical or chemical properties such as exceptional electrochemical stability and negligible vapor pressure have aroused great scientific and industrial interest in these substances.
Ionic liquids are subject to cohesive interactions including Coulomb, van der Waals and solvophobic forces – among others – leading to stronger structuring phenomena than seen in other molecular liquids. This affects both the short ranged bulk liquid structure, creating sponge-like patterns, as well as the liquid/vapor, liquid/liquid and solid/liquid interface. For the latter case, a number of substrate/liquid combinations – most notably the class of Alkylimidazolium ionic liquids at metal or single crystal oxide interfaces – have been shown to form pronounced, repeating series of alternating cation/anion bilayers.
Utilizing surface sensitive techniques such as x-ray reflectivity I am studying interfacial structures in ionic liquids with submolecular spatial resolution. A primary goal of my research is to work out how layering is affected by properties such as ion size, geometry or polarity. Further interest lies in the stability of these structures, especially under the application of shear forces.
- Near Surface Crystallization of Pluronic P123 (Gerth, S.; Klimczak, M.; Nelson, A.; Magerl, A.); Journal of Physics - Conference Series 340, 2012; DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/340/1/012088
- Nanoscale structures and dynamics of a boundary liquid layer (Walz, M.; Gerth, S.; Falus, P.; Klimczak, M.; Metzger, T. H.; Magerl, A.); Journal of Physics - Condensed Matter 23 (32), 2011; DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/23/32/324102