Adam Sturlaugson, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • B.S., Chemistry & Biology, University of Sioux Falls, SD


  • Associate Professor, Chemistry
  • University of Sioux Falls

Current Research:

The goal of this project is to understand how the structure of an ionic liquid (IL) determine the liquid's macroscopic properties such as melting point and viscosity.  ILs are defined as salts with a melting temperature below 100°C, and, due to their large structural variability, it is estimated that there are over a trillion ILs possible.  Research in ILs has shown tremendous growth in the past decade, largely due to their enormous variability and the intersection of several desirable traits such as tunable solubility, negligible volatility, good thermal and electrochemical stability, and reasonable conductivity.  Current biomedical applications include antimicrobial agents, solvents for biocatalysis, drug delivery systems, and medicinal analytics [J. Mol. Liq. 272 (2018) 271-300].  However, it is not well understood how the chemical structure of an IL determines the bulk properties of the liquid.  The specific focus of this project is to investigate how the structure of an IL influences the hydrogen bonding and entropy of the liquid, and how those parameters effect the liquid's viscosity and melting point.  A better understanding of these structure-property relationships in ionic liquids will aid rationale IL design for and application to biomedical problems.