Ionic Liquids for Energy-efficient Lubricants and Anti-corrosion Coatings

National Laboratory: 
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Characterization Class: 
Extreme Environment Testing
Processing/Manufacturing Class: 
Fabrication and synthesis

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a global pioneer and leader in the development of ionic liquids as next-generation, multifunctional, energy-efficient lubricant additives for engine and gear lubrication, as well as novel environmental-friendly agents to produce anti-corrosion conversion coatings for magnesium and aluminum alloys. ORNL owns four U.S. patents or patent applications and has published 16 journal papers with nearly 500 citations in the area of ionic liquids for wear and corrosion protection. ORNL’s ionic lubricants technology won the 2014 U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office research and development (R&D) Award and 2014 R&D 100 Award.

Capability Bounds: 

ORNL offers lab-scale synthesis of ionic liquids, from grams to kg per batch, and tribological bench and corrosion testing and analysis.

Unique Aspects: 

ORNL has world-leading expertise and state-of-the-art facilities for synthesis, characterization, and testing of novel ionic liquids for wear and corrosion protection for transportation and industrial systems.


Collaborative R&D is available for various partnership arrangements with industry. For example, ORNL maintains recent and current cooperative R&D agreements (CRADAs) with General Motors and Shell Global Solutions (U.S.), respectively.

Single Point of Contact: 

Name: Dr. Jun Qu
Phone: 865-576-9304

  1. Ionic liquids for advanced lubrication: U.S Patents #7,754,664, #14/184,754, #14/444,029; ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 4 (2012) 997 & 6 (2014) 22585; Langmuir 30 (2014) 13301; Advanced Materials 27 (2015) 4767.
  2. Ionic liquids for Mg-Al alloy corrosion protection: U.S Patent Appl. #14/044,248; Electrochimica Acta 123 (2014) 58; Thin Solid Films 568 (2014) 44.
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