Time-resolved dissolution elucidates the mechanism of zeolite MFI crystallization

Krassimir N. Bozhilov, Thuy Thanh Le, Zhengxing Qin, Tanguy Terlier, Ana Palčić, Jeffrey D. Rimer, Valentin Valtchev
2021 Science Advances  
Zeolite crystal growth mechanisms are not fully elucidated owing to their complexity wherein the formation of a particular zeolite can occur by more than one crystallization pathway. Here, we have conducted time-resolved dissolution experiments of MFI-type zeolite crystals in ammonium fluoride medium where detailed structural analysis allowed us to extrapolate and elucidate the possible mechanism of nucleation and crystal growth. A combination of electron and scanning probe microscopy shows
more » ... dissolution initiates preferentially at lattice defects and progressively removes defect zones to reveal a mosaic structure of crystalline domains within each zeolite crystal. This mosaic architecture evolves during the growth process, reflecting the changing conditions of zeolite formation that can be retroactively assessed during zeolite crystal dissolution. Moreover, a more general implication of this study is the establishment that dissolution can be used successfully as an ex situ technique to uncover details about crystal growth features inaccessible by other methods.
doi:10.1126/sciadv.abg0454 pmid:34134994 fatcat:3iocizwufzdi7a3z32cvmq2csa