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Determining the aluminium occupancy on the active T-sites in zeolites using X-ray standing waves

DOI: 10.1038/nmat2220 DOI Help

Authors: J. A. Van Bokhoven (ETH Zurich) , Tien-lin Lee (Diamond Light Source) , Michael Drakopoulos (Diamond Light Source) , C. Lamberti (U. di Torino) , S. Thiess (ESRF) , Jorg Zegenhagen (ESRF)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Materials , VOL 7 (7) , PAGES 551

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2008

Abstract: Zeolites are microporous crystalline materials that find wide application in industry, for example, as catalysts and gas separators, and in our daily life, for example, as adsorbents or as ion exchangers in laundry detergents1. The tetrahedrally coordinated silicon and aluminium atoms in the zeolite unit cell occupy the so-called crystallographic T-sites. Besides their pore size, the occupation of specific T-sites by the aluminium atoms determines the performance of the zeolites2. Despite its importance, the distribution of aluminium over the crystallographic T-sites remains one of the most challenging, unresolved issues in zeolite science. Here, we report how to determine unambiguously and directly the distribution of aluminium in zeolites by means of the X-ray standing wave technique3 using brilliant, focused X-rays from a third-generation synchrotron source. We report in detail the analysis of the aluminium distribution in scolecite, which demonstrates how the aluminium occupancy in zeolites can systematically be determined.

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics, Chemistry

Instruments: NONE-No attached Diamond beamline

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