CEMS research team finds new method for 2D zeolites

May 11, 2015 - A CEMS team, including graduate student Prashant Kumar, Professors K. Andre Mkhoyan and Michael Tsapatsis, and former graduate student Kumar Varoon Agrawal, recently published their research on two-dimensional (2D) zeolite nanosheets in Nature Communications. In this study, the CEMS researchers introduced a new TEM-based method for measuring the thickness and level wrinkling of the two-dimensional zeolite nanosheets. Unlike typical 2D materials, these sheets are 1-2 nanometers thick, and their structural characterization is particularly challenging. The researchers demonstrated a new method to accurately determine the thickness and wrinkles of a 2D zeolite nanosheet by comprehensive 3D mapping of its reciprocal lattice. Since the intensity modulation of a diffraction spot on tilting is a fingerprint of the thickness, and changes in the spot shape are a measure of wrinkling, this mapping is achieved using a large-angle tilt-series of electron diffraction patterns. This work will allow for better utilization of two-dimensional zeolites for a variety of chemical engineering applications.

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