Conclusion

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

W. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene V

Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.

J. B. S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, 1927

In conclusion, we must concur with both Shakespeare and Haldane. There are more things (a trillion more) in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy, and, yes, the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. To place the preceding observations in context, there are only about 600 molecular solvents commonly in use in industry today. So the reasons for discussing ionic liquids as designer solvents are valid: with a trillion solvents to select from, an optimum solvent for any given reaction will exist. The only problem will be finding it. Thus, we believe that the future of ionic liquids will, to some extent, be guided by the principles of combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput experimentation. The next few years will be the true test of ionic liquid technology, and they look to be very exciting years indeed!

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