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Single-walled zeolitic nanotubes discovered

A new class of nanotube material has been discovered by researchers at Stockholm University together with a research group at the American university GeorgiaTech. The unique mesostructure of nanotube materials provide them with properties that are not available for bulk material. The discovery was recently published in the scientific magazine Science.

Through a combination of targeted synthesis and high definition structure elucidation, the zeolitic nanotube has been realized. Analogous to the carbon nanotube this material exhibits an extended one-dimensional structure with an ordered wall structure at the atomic-scale. The zeolitic nanotube is however different both when it comes to chemical composition and in atomic structure. It is composed of a microporous wall, which encapsulates a hollow mesoporous core. The tubular morphology and aluminosilicate composition provide a system with intrinsic multi-lengthscale ordering, creating unique properties.

The zeolitic nanotube was synthesized by a process that simultaneously directs the formation of a ~5nm wide tubular mesostructure and a microporous and crystalline wall. Aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy imaging provided essential tools to reveal the atomic structure, where information from different projections were used in order to reveal its complete atomic structure.

The findings were realized by Tom Willhammar, Xiaodong Zou and Elina Kapaca at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry at Stockholm University in collaborations with the groups of Sankar Nair and Christopher W. Jones at GeorgiaTech, USA.

“Single-walled zeolitic nanotubes”, Science 2022, 6576, 62-66

Tom Willhammar's research profile