Mechanism of Zeolite A Nanocrystal Growth from Colloids at Room Temperature

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Science  12 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5404, pp. 958-960
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5404.958

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The formation and growth of crystal nuclei of zeolite A from clear solutions at room temperature were studied with low-dose, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy in field emission mode and with in situ dynamic light scattering. Single zeolite A crystals nucleated in amorphous gel particles of 40 to 80 nanometers within 3 days at room temperature. The resulting nanoscale single crystals (10 to 30 nanometers) were embedded in the amorphous gel particles. The gel particles were consumed during further crystal growth at room temperature, forming a colloidal suspension of zeolite A nanocrystals of 40 to 80 nanometers. On heating this suspension at 80°C, solution-mediated transport resulted in additional substantial crystal growth.

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