Prashant Kumar, University of Minnesota
Growth Stages of Directly Synthesized Zeolite Nanosheet
Written by Natalie Briggs
Zeolites are porous materials composed of oxygen and silicon or aluminum, which can be used to filter or separate chemicals and select for individual molecules. However, realization of zeolite materials for further materials studies and development have relied on exfoliation of bulk crystals which can lead to coupling of the zeolite nanosheets and can harm the performance of these materials for separation uses. Researchers at the University of Minnesota are working to develop methods of synthesizing MFI-type zeolite nanosheets on larger areas, and with larger yield. The approach involves the synthesis of a seed crystal realized through a solution-based method. The seed crystal is shown to generate 5-nm-thick nanosheets after growing to roughly 100 nm in length, and resulting nanosheets are shown to have lateral dimensions on the micron scale.