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Confined Ionic Liquids Under Electric Field.

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Ionic Liquids (IL) are promissing materials for new technologies in the field of energy storage and generation, such as super-capacitors, lithium batteries, or fuel cells. In these applications they are strongly confined between electrodes at the scale of the nanometer. Their dynamic properties determines the efficiency of energy transfer processes. But existing studies of confined IL show exotic behaviours, such as "quantized friction".

At Liphy we have developped original instrumentations to study confined liquids. Our Surface Force Apparatii investigate the nano-rheological behaviour and the friction in ultra-thin liquid films. Equipped with metal coating of ultra-low roughness, these devices can reproduce in an highly controlled way the working conditions between operational electrodes.

The objective of the master thesis is to study the influence of an electric field on confined ionic liquids. Recent numerical simulations performed in several groups have evidenced singular dynamical behaviours, such as the apparition of a finite yield-stress for flow, or phase transitions analogous to a "capillary cristallization" on metal surfaces. If confirmed, these singular behaviours are of great fundamental and applied interest.

Contact :

  • Elisabeth Charlaix (
  • Lionel Bureau (
Liquides ioniques