Few-Unit-Cell MFI Zeolite Synthesized using a Simple Di-quaternary Ammonium Structure-Directing Agent

Peng Lu, Supriya Ghosh, Matheus Dorneles de Mello, Huda Sharbini Kamaluddin, Xinyu Li, Gaurav Kumar, Xuekui Duan, Milinda Abeykoon, J. Anibal Boscoboinik, Liang Qi, Heng Dai, Tianyi Luo, Shaeel Al-Thabaiti, Katabathini Narasimharao, Zaheer Khan, Jeffrey D. Rimer, Alexis T. Bell, Paul Dauenhauer, K. Andre Mkhoyan, Michael Tsapatsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Synthesis of a pentasil-type zeolite with ultra-small few-unit-cell crystalline domains, which we call FDP (few-unit-cell crystalline domain pentasil), is reported. FDP is made using bis-1,5(tributyl ammonium) pentamethylene cations as structure directing agent (SDA). This di-quaternary ammonium SDA combines butyl ammonium, in place of the one commonly used for MFI synthesis, propyl ammonium, and a five-carbon nitrogen-connecting chain, in place of the six-carbon connecting chain SDAs that are known to fit well within the MFI pores. X-ray diffraction analysis and electron microscopy imaging of FDP indicate ca. 10 nm crystalline domains organized in hierarchical micro-/meso-porous aggregates exhibiting mesoscopic order with an aggregate particle size up to ca. 5 μm. Al and Sn can be incorporated into the FDP zeolite framework to produce active and selective methanol-to-hydrocarbon and glucose isomerization catalysts, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19214-19221
Number of pages8
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 23 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors extend their appreciation to the Deputyship for Research & Innovation, Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia for funding this research work through the project number (721). Partial support for this work (certain catalysis experiments and characterizations) was also provided by the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award No. DE‐SC0001004. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from the NSF through the MRSEC (Award Number DMR‐2011401) and the NNCI (Award Number ECCS‐2025124) programs. S.G. and K.A.M. were supported by the NSF through the University of Minnesota MRSEC under award number DMR‐2011401. The authors are grateful for Dr. Renato N. Sampaio and Dr. Javier Concepcion, Chemistry Division of Brookhaven National Laboratory, for providing the experimental setup for glucose isomerization catalysis experiments. J.D.R. acknowledges support primarily from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (Award DE‐SC0014468) and additional support from the Welch Foundation (Award E‐1794). A.T.B. and L.Q. acknowledge support from the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE‐AC02‐05CH11231, L.Q. also acknowledges support from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, People's Republic of China.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Angewandte Chemie International Edition published by Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • adsorption
  • catalysis
  • di-quaternary structure directing agents
  • pentasil
  • ultrasmall crystalline domain

MRSEC Support

  • Shared

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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