Electrospray of an energetic ionic liquid monopropellant for multi-mode micropropulsion applications

Steven P. Berg, Joshua L. Rovey, Benjamin D. Prince, Shawn W. Miller, Raymond J. Bemish

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The multi-mode chemical-electric propulsion capable energetic ionic liquid propellant [Emim][EtSO4]-HAN is electrosprayed in a 100 µm capillary emitter to test the electric-mode performance of the propellant. The ionic liquid exhibits stable electrospray emission in both cation and anion extraction modes at a nominal extraction voltage of 3400 V. Near field measurements of current and mass flow rate distribution are taken at flow rates from 0.19 nL/s to 3.06 nL/s. Total emission current, as measured by Faraday cup and integrated, increases from 754 nA to 3195 nA for cation emission and from 552 nA to 2012 nA for anion emission. The thrust and specific impulse at 0.19 nL/s flow rate is 1.08 µN and 412 seconds, respectively, with a beam power of 2.22 mW. At 3.06 nL/s, the thrust is 8.71 µN and the specific impulse is 204 seconds with a beam power of 8.85 mW. Extrapolation of the current data shows that specific impulse in excess of 1000 seconds is achievable through optimized feed system and emitter design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624103216
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 2015 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Jul 27 2015Jul 29 2015

Publication series

Name51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference


Other51st AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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