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Framework Topology and Zeolites
Zeolites are microporous solids, containing pores and cavities of molecular dimensions. Their crystal structures can be thought of in terms of regular frameworks, or nets in which all the atoms are connected together by chemical bonds. Uniquely, zeolites possess four-connected nets in which four-coordinate atoms are linked together by two-coordinate bridging atoms. Currently, about 150 or so different types of framework structure are known, either in minerals or synthetic zeolites, but there are potentially a great many more, whose structures can be enumerated using topological and geometric principles, but which have not yet been synthesised. Our interest is in studying hypothetical structures, generated by mathematical methods, and in predicting which of them are feasible to make, and what their properties might be. We have shown that only a small fraction of hypothetical zeolites are likely to be realised as silicates, and also that certain geometric motifs are disfavoured because they give rise to unphysical distortion of the tetrahedral coordination sphere. Currently we are exploring the effect of varying composition on the preference for certain common AX 2 topologies.
1 Researchers
  • Dept of Chemistry
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