Dense ionic fluids Faraday Discussion

8 - 10 July 2024, London, United Kingdom



Join us in London in July 2024 for this edition of the Faraday Discussion series. The Faraday Discussions are unique international discussion meetings that address current and emerging topics at the forefront of the physical sciences.
This meeting is for established and early-career scientists, postgraduate students and industrial researchers working on various aspects of dense ionic fluids. It will provide an ideal forum for cross-fertilisation of ideas and understanding between the distinct but adjacent communities working with different classes of dense ionic fluids and their different applications. On behalf of the organising committee, we look forward to welcoming you to London.

Tom Welton


Faraday Discussions have a special format where primary research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. All delegates at the meeting, not just speakers, have the opportunity to make comments, ask questions, or present complementary or contradictory measurements and calculations during the discussion sessions. In addition, there is a dedicated poster session where further discussion takes place. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.


The meeting will comprise the following four interrelated themes:

Structure and dynamics in dense ionic fluids
Dense ionic fluids known to be richly structured at the nanoscale, with features including short-range oscillations in cation and anion density, and solvophobic-driven assembly of nanostructures such as lamellar, sponge and bicontinuous phases. Nanostructure in pure ionic liquids has been well studied, however much less well understood is structure in ionic fluids with additional components e.g. neutral (polar or non-polar) solvent, or mixtures of ionic components, or oligomeric species. This is highly relevant for the understanding of many dense ionic fluids, including deep eutectic solvents, solvent-in-salt electrolytes, eutectic salt mixtures, and physiological mixtures of salts and osmolytes in water. Connected to this nanostructural complexity is strong variation in the dynamic properties of ionic fluids. Simulations have revealed that molecular and ionic species can experience many orders of magnitude difference in local relaxation times and thus diffusion coefficients are dramatically different for different species. Relaxation of structures in response to changes to electric field, mechanical stress, and other perturbations are important and not yet well charted. This session will focus on these new directions of structure and dynamics in dens ionic fluids, and the links between them.

Ionic fluids at equilibrium: thermodynamics, nanostructure, phase behaviour, activity
Dense ionic fluids are hard to describe thermodynamically, due to the complex nature of their equilibrium structure (nanostructure), difficulty in modelling free energy in dense Coulomb systems, and relative paucity of high quality experimental measurements of colligative/thermodynamic properties. Phase behaviour is often complex due to nanoscale
phase segregation, intermediate-range order, and glass formation. Multiple dynamic timescales in dense ionic fluids mean that many electrochemical techniques and dielectric spectroscopy remain challenging. Key challenges addressed in this session are the interpretation of activity coefficients (i.e. understanding non-ideality and excess free energy) in dense ionic fluids; the discussion of macroscopic or microscopic liquid-liquid phase segregation in dense ionic fluids; the concepts of ‘solvent’ and ‘ion’ in systems with long-lived ion-molecule coordination; eutectic behaviour and the definition of ‘deep eutectic solvents’. Points of discussion will include phase equilibria involving dense ionic liquids; activity coefficients in dense ionic fluids (including water activity for aqueous mixtures) and their molecular origin; nanostructure in dense ionic fluids including non-uniformity (nano-scale phase separation) and self-assembly.

Ionic fluids out of equilibrium: electrodeposition, dissolution, electron transfer, driving forces
The non-equilibrium behaviour of ionic fluid is crucial in many contexts, from electrochemical applications to energy harvesting, storage and conversion, or complex transport processes in bulk and confined colloidal or biological suspensions (see also Session 4). The response of dense ionic fluids to electric or magnetic fields, to mechanical perturbations or to concentration and temperature gradients is richer than that of dilute electrolytes and remains a great challenge on both the experimental and theoretical sides, in particular because transport processes are strongly coupled in these systems. Additional complexity arises from the reactivity of these fluids under electrochemical conditions, with electron transfers and dissolution/precipitation coupled to the transport of reactant and products. Addressing these issues at the interface between fundamental physics and chemistry would open the way to key progress in engineering applications.
Points of discussion will include how to describe collective and specific effects (beyond ideal and mean-field electrostatic theories) e.g. on the conductivity, rheology or diffusio- and thermo-osmotic/phoretic response of dense ionic fluids. We will also discuss how to characterize and understand the formation of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) on electrodes, which plays a crucial role in batteries. Electrodissolution results in high local metal ion concentrations exacerbated by high solution viscosity and variations in local pH can also bring about precipitation in the double layer. Diffusion of counterions to the electrode surface can also result in uncharged and insoluble compounds. Slow diffusion of ligands away from the electrode during electrodeposition can result in changes in local Lewis basicity resulting in speciation changes. Of particular interest is the relation between speciation and redox properties.

Interfaces and particles in dense ionic fluids: biological and colloidal systems spanning multiple lengthscales
Many functions and applications of dense ionic fluids involve their interfaces with particles; either colloidal or biological, and spanning scales from nanometres to micrometres. The perturbation of liquid structure and properties caused by the presence of the particle/interface will determine properties of the whole system, e.g. particle-particle interaction potentials, protein structure and interactions, oligomer and polymer structure. While this interplay is well understood in dilute electrolytes – for example the electrical double layer formed at charged colloid interfaces – it is less studied and understood for dense ionic fluids.
In this session we will open discussion of these topics with a wide scope: we hope to attract speakers covering inorganic and biological systems, multiple lengthscales, theory and experiment. Key challenges in the field include the role of solvation and liquid structure on protein interactions in halophilic environments; disjoining pressure between particles in multi-valent and asymmetric electrolytes; colloidal stability and colloidal crystallisation in dense ionic fluids.
Abstract Submission

Oral abstracts

Oral abstract submission is now closed.
Submit an oral/paper abstract if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work, by 19 February 2024.

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume. 

Poster abstracts

Submit a poster abstract by 29 April 2024. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The poster prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference. 

Additional information

All oral and poster abstracts will be reviewed by the committee. Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.

Grants for Carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1000/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.

Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if: 
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide 
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).

Useful links

Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2024 Faraday Discussion series.
There are opportunities available to become the Faraday Discussion series sponsor,  Research & Development partner or poster prize series sponsor as well as some individual meeting options. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.
Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
If you would like more information about sponsoring the 2024 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

The Burlington House (Royal Academy) courtyard is located on the north side of Piccadilly, directly across the street from Fortnum and Mason. The Royal Society of Chemistry is located on the right hand side of the Burlington House courtyard.


By underground: The nearest stations are Green Park or Piccadilly Circus; both are a 5-minute walk to the venue. If you use Green Park please leave via Piccadilly Northside and look for the Royal Academy entrance, turn left out of the station, you will see the red flags of Burlington House ahead of you.

By train: London Kings Cross, London Liverpool Street or London Victoria train stations are the most accessible and then require a short tube journey to the venue You can take either the Piccadilly or Victoria line to Green Park or Piccadilly tube stations and only the Victoria line to Green Park from Victoria station

By coach: National Express operates a comprehensive coach service to most parts of the country from Victoria Coach Station, 164 Buckingham Palace Road, Sw1W 9TP
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