Direct Imaging and Location of Pb2+ and K+ in EMT Framework-Type Zeolite

Zhang, Yaping, Smith, Daniel, Readman, Jennifer Elizabeth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8170-5533 and Mayoral, Alvaro (2021) Direct Imaging and Location of Pb2+ and K+ in EMT Framework-Type Zeolite. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 125 (11). pp. 6461-6470. ISSN 1932-7447

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The understanding of the structural framework and metal locations within zeolites are two critical aspects to tune and further exploit their properties as heterogeneous catalysts, advanced optical devices, or as water remediation materials. The development of electron microscopy has made it possible to observe directly the zeolitic framework and the distribution of extra framework cations within the pores at the atomic level. Here, we have studied the EMT framework providing data with an unprecedented spatial resolution, which have allowed the analysis of the FAU domains present in the framework. Additionally, potassium and lead (introduced by aqueous ion exchange), which were nonperiodically distributed in the pores have been located. An alternative image mode, annular bright field, has been used, proving its usefulness to extend the spatial resolution and increase the sensitivity toward light elements such as bridging oxygen. Finally, the combination of atomic imaging (local information) with the three-dimensional electron diffraction tomography analysis (averaged information) determined the lead-EMT crystal symmetry to be P63mc.

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