Pores Within Pores—How to Craft Ordered Hierarchical Zeolites

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Science  15 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6040, pp. 297-298
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208528

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Zeolites are aluminosilicate crystals that have internal networks of angstrom-size pores, similar to the dimensions of small molecules. They are among the most widely used materials in heterogeneous catalysis (1, 2) because of their defined structure and composition. Although zeolites are very potent solid-acid catalysts, their catalytic applications have been limited to processing smaller molecules; their internal pores are not readily accessed by molecules exceeding 1 nm in size. Major efforts have been directed to overcoming this limitation. On page 328 of this issue, Na et al. (3) present a new strategy for creating thin zeolite walls, containing small pores, that grow into structures forming larger pores that can catalyze reactions with larger molecules.