Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Materials science

Reflections on ionic liquids

Ionic liquids are generally regarded as solvents, but these modular, tunable compounds have far greater technological potential. With a coat of silver, they become ideal materials for the liquid mirror of a space telescope.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Liquid-mirror telescopes.


  1. Wasserscheid, P. & Welton, T. (eds) Ionic Liquids in Synthesis (Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2003).

  2. Borra, E. F. et al. Nature 447, 979–981 (2007).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Walden, P. Bull. Acad. Sci. St Petersburg 405–422 (1914).

  4. Fremantle, M. Chem. Eng. News 76 (30 March), 32–37 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Nature 10.1038/news051031-8 (2005).

  6. Deetlefs, M., Seddon, K. R. & Shara, M. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 8, 642–649 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Pernak, J., Sobaszkiewicz, K. & Mirska, I. Green Chem. 5, 52–56 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rogers, R. Reflections on ionic liquids. Nature 447, 917–918 (2007).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing