(Drs. William Wepfer and Mark G. White, co-advisors)
"Synthesis and Characterization of Mesostructed Molecular Sieves"
This experimental research explores the synthesis of silicate and acidic aluminosilicate molecular sieves using a surfactant-templated synthesis mechanism. The solid structure was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, nitrogen sorption, powder X-ray diffraction, thermal analysis, 27Al MAS NMR and 29Si MAS NMR spectroscopy. The solid acidity was characterized by infrared spectroscopy, microcalorimetry and temperature-programmed desorption.
The uniqeness of these solids comes from their pore size selectivity in the mesoporous range. It is shown that their acidity resembles amorphous aluminosilicates acidity rather than zeolite cracking catalysts acidity. The type, strength and density of the acid sites depends on the nature of the Al precursors. It is believed that this new class of solids holds great promise for new applications in absorption, separation, and catalysis.