Arts and Humanities | Life Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Liquid crystals are a fourth state of matter used in applications such as liquid crystal displays. Similar to the liquid crystals, there is a growing research interest in ionic liquid crystals that consist typically of organic cations and organic/inorganic anions. The image depicted is an organic salt displaying a thermotropic (heat induced) ionic liquid crystalline phase. These classes of ionic organic compounds have potential applications for safe and sustainable solar energy storage systems as well as for lithium ion batteries. Ionic liquid crystals will have a better future in combating against the global energy crisis in the 21st century.