Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Masters of Science in Chemistry



First Advisor

Michael Mueller

Second Advisor

Rebecca DeVasher

Third Advisor

Allen White


In this study, ionic liquids (ILs) are defined as ionic materials with a melting temperature >100oC. ILs are characterized by their organic moieties which prevent crystallization, forcing the liquid phase. ILs are desirable as lubricant additives because of their ability to be fine-tuned by varying the identity of the cation/anion as well as the various organic functional moieties therein. Several novel phosphonium/phosphate ILs have been successfully synthesized via a simple, straightforward process. In this work a series of symmetric and asymmetric anionic phosphodiesters are developed and coordinated with two asymmetric alkyl phosphonium cations. These ILs are tested in SAE 10W30 engine oil for their tribological performance in wear reduction. At a 5 wt.% loading, phosphonium/phosphate ILs can reduce wear by up to 65% of the base oil wear. The correlation between a variety of organic functional moieties and their relative lubricities in SAE 10W30 oil is demonstrated in this work.