Synthesis and characterization of crystalline microporous materials : investigation of new synthetic routes
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Conventionally, crystalline microporous materials such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are synthesized through the hydrothermal route or the trial-and-error approach. Other synthetic strategies may lead to the synthesis of microporous materials with new architectures or interesting properties. The general aim of this thesis is to investigate some new synthetic routes towards crystalline microporous materials. A top-down and post-synthesis method is reported in Chapter 4. Some zeolites are built up by layers and double-4-ring pillars. Germanium is preferentially located in the double-4-ring sites of a zeolite framework and is hydrolytically unstable. The idea of the top-down method is to disassemble these zeolites to the layer structures by dissolving the Ge-containing pillars and reassemble them to a new framework. This method is applied to the germanosilicate IWW and ITH zeolites for the first time. The effects of framework chemical compositions, Ge distributions and disassembling conditions on the top-down treatment process are investigated. The products obtained from the top-down treatment are characterised. An ionic liquid assisted strategy for the synthesis of zeolites is described in Chapter 5. The ionic liquid assisted strategy is a solvent free reaction. The raw materials are transformed to zeolites through a solid state reaction. The ionic liquids are first used as structure-directing agents (SDAs) in this solvent free reaction to replace the expensive quaternary ammonium hydroxide. A TON zeolite is synthesized using 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide as the SDA. Moreover, the ionic liquid assisted strategy is considered as a “green chemistry” synthetic route due to the high yield of the zeolites and the minor production of waste water. Many aluminophosphates have been successfully synthesized through ionothermal routes. Most of them are synthesized using 1-alkyl-3-methylimidazolium based ionic liquids. A new ionic liquid, 1-(2-hydroxyl-ethyl)-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([HOEmim]Cl), is prepared and used for the ionothermal synthesis of aluminophosphate materials. A zeolite analogue with the CHA framework has been synthesized. At high synthetic temperatures, the products are large single crystals. The structures of the framework and the SDA are investigated by single crystal diffraction and other characterisation methods. Flexible MOF materials are usually synthesized by a trial-and-error approach. Recently a flexible MOF compound was synthesized using 5-sulfoisophthalic acid (SIP) as the ligand. It was proposed the sulfonate is weakly coordinated to the metal, which brings flexibility to the compound, and the carboxylate groups keep the framework intact. 2-sulfoterephthalic acid (STP) which also contains one sulfonate group and two carboxylate groups is believed to be an alternative ligand for the targeted synthesis of flexible MOFs. In Chapter 7, a MOF compound is synthesized using STP and 4, 4’-bipyridine (Bpy) as ligands to validate the proposed strategy can be generalized. Variable temperature single crystal diffraction analysis solves the structure and reveals a reversible structure transformation upon dehydration and rehydration.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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