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Synthesis of Microporous Materials
Microporous solids, such as zeolites, possess regular channels and cages of molecular dimensions and as a consequence are widely used as catalysts, molecular sieves and ion exchangers. However, their synthesis from a gel medium is difficult to characterise experimentally. We are therefore studying model gels using computational methods to gain insights into the role of the various components in the crystallisation process. A particularly important component are organic amines which act as structure-directing agents; that is they determine which material is formed by acting as a "template". We are trying to understand how this "templating effect" works in order to devise new synthesis routes.1 Furthermore, we are developing new techniques which allow automatic generation of suitable templates,2 opening the way for designer materials.3 Closely coupled to these modelling studies will be a programme of synthesis and characterisation.
1 Researchers
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