John Slattery reviews this timely contibution to the topic of ionic liquids

Michael Freemantle
Cambridge: RSC 2009 | Pp281 | £39.95 | ISBN 978 1 84755 161 0
Reviewed by John Slattery

Cover of An introduction to ionic liquids

Michael Freemantle sets out to provide an introduction to ionic liquids (ILs) for readers who are not familiar with the topic and gives a wide-ranging overview of the history, synthesis, properties and applications of these fascinating materials. Key findings from the primary literature provide the basis for the book's content and these are drawn together and presented in an engaging and accessible way. 

This book is a timely contribution, as there is currently little or no coverage of IL science in modern chemistry textbooks and there is a real need for an accessible supporting text when teaching the subject. The book provides an approachable and wide-ranging introduction to ILs that will likely be very useful to those joining the field and as a supporting text for students/educators. The only downside to the book's impressive breadth is that there may be insufficient detail for researchers who are already familiar with the subject. However, there are plenty of references in each section that encourage the interested reader to dig deeper into the primary literature and the approachability of the book, which is one of its great strengths, would have been compromised by a detailed discussion of every topic.

I would certainly recommend the book to support teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate level and I hope that it facilitates the incorporation of IL science into the core syllabus at more institutions.