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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

PI: Michael Tsapatsis

X-ray Diffraction and Electron Microscopy Simulations of Zeolite Nanosheets

Zeolites are porous silicate materials that are used in gas separation, catalysis and other applications. Several zeolite nanosheets (plate-like crystals, with MFI or MWW frameworks) were recently developed by these researchers. These zeolite nanosheets show promising performance in gas separation, catalysis, and adsorption. Preliminary computational studies carried out at MSI were able to elucidate the structures of the nanosheets. As these are a new class of zeolite nanoparticles, the researchers are carrying out a systematic study of their structures. Along with experimental structural characterization studies, such as x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy, they are carrying out simulations to complement and explain experimental results. Based on the method developed in 2011, they are further simulating the x-ray diffraction patterns of the nanosheet coatings using powder power theorem, which contains oriented samples rather than randomly oriented samples. They are also performing a series of simulation studies of electron diffraction patterns of the zeolite nanosheets, using the Multislice method, to check whether tilting and/or defocus can be used to determine the structure, especially the thickness, of the particles. The method developed here could be potentially useful to determine the structure of zeolites with similar dimension but different morphologies.

Group Members

Nicole Ann Atchison, Graduate Student
Damien Brewer, Graduate Student
Huiyong Chen, Visiting Researcher
Bahman Elyassi, Visiting Researcher
Satish Kumar, Faculty Collaborator
Pyung-Soo Lee, Graduate Student
Christopher Lew, Research Associate
Dongxia Liu, Visiting Researcher
Elizabeth Emma Mallon, Graduate Student
Rajiv Ranjan, Graduate Student
Jared Stoeger, Graduate Student
Chun-Yi Sung, Visiting Researcher
Jikku M. Thomas, Graduate Student
Kumar Varoon, Graduate Student
Xueyi Zhang, Graduate Student