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University of Delaware researcher describes new approach for creating organic zeolites
Date:7/24/2014

Yushan Yan, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Delaware, is known worldwide for using nanomaterials to solve problems in energy engineering, environmental sustainability and electronics.

His early academic work focused on zeolites, porous rock with a well-defined, crystalline structure. At the atomic scale, their pore size is so precisely decided that zeolites can separate molecules with size differences of merely a fraction of an angstrom (one-tenth of a nanometer), making them useful to the chemical and petroleum industries as molecular sieves for separation and catalysis processes.

In a landmark paper -- "Designed Synthesis of Large-Pore Crystalline Polyimide Covalent Organic Frameworks" -- published in the July 23 edition of the international scientific journal Nature Communications, Yan describes a new approach to creating organic zeolites.

"There is a dream out there to build organic zeolites. If you can create organic zeolites, you can do more and even better catalysis and better separations. It opens the door for applications previously thought impossible," he says.

Traditionally, zeolites have been derived from inorganic material like silicon or aluminum. For the past several years, Yan has focused on combining zeolites with organic polymers whose main component is carbon, oxygen, hydrogen or nitrogen.

The challenge in creating organic zeolites, also known as crystalline porous polymers, is that organic polymers like to be amorphous; they do not normally exhibit a pristine crystalline structure.

Yan explains that converting these polymers into a crystalline material is difficult because it requires reactions that are reversible. But polymers typically are created when identical molecules (or monomers) react and form an irreversible bond.

"Think of building a house. If the moment a builder touches one metal beam to another they become stuck together, it woul
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Contact: Donna O'Brien
dobrien@udel.edu
University of Delaware
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2

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University of Delaware researcher describes new approach for creating organic zeolites
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