Directing Zeolite Structures into Hierarchically Nanoporous Architectures

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Science  15 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6040, pp. 328-332
DOI: 10.1126/science.1204452

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Crystalline mesoporous molecular sieves have long been sought as solid acid catalysts for organic reactions involving large molecules. We synthesized a series of mesoporous molecular sieves that possess crystalline microporous walls with zeolitelike frameworks, extending the application of zeolites to the mesoporous range of 2 to 50 nanometers. Hexagonally ordered or disordered mesopores are generated by surfactant aggregates, whereas multiple cationic moieties in the surfactant head groups direct the crystallization of microporous aluminosilicate frameworks. The wall thicknesses, framework topologies, and mesopore sizes can be controlled with different surfactants. The molecular sieves are highly active as catalysts for various acid-catalyzed reactions of bulky molecular substrates, compared with conventional zeolites and ordered mesoporous amorphous materials.

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