Studying two-dimensional zeolites with the tools of surface science: MFI nanosheets on Au(111)

John D. Kestell, Jian Qiang Zhong, Meera Shete, Iradwikanari Waluyo, Jerzy T. Sadowski, Dario J. Stacchiola, Michael Tsapatsis, J. Anibal Boscoboinik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


While surface science has provided fundamental insights into a variety a materials, the most used catalysts in the industry, namely zeolites, still remain a challenge. The recent preparation of two-dimensional versions of MFI zeolite frameworks and the possibility of their deposition on electrically conductive supports provides for the first time a viable strategy to perform detailed studies on industrially relevant zeolites using the vast toolkit of surface science. In this work we demonstrate the use of infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) and synchrotron-based X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to study these materials. Furthermore, polarization modulation IRRAS is used to study the adsorption of methanol and its effect in phonon vibrations of the zeolite framework. The possibility of using surface science methods, in particular under ambient pressure conditions, for the study of well-defined zeolites and other microporous structures opens new avenues to understand structural and mechanistic aspects of these materials as catalysts, adsorbents and molecular sieves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalCatalysis Today
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research carried out in part at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials and at the CSX-2 beamline of the National Synchrotron Light Source II, Brookhaven National Laboratory, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-SC0012704. MFI nanosheet preparation was supported from the Center for Gas Separations Relevant to Clean Energy Technologies, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under Award DE-SC000105. J.Q Zhong is supported by BNL LDRD Project No. 15-010. We thank W.T. Tysoe, T. Kim, N. Akter, M. Wang and D. Lu for useful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016


  • Infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy
  • Surface science
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Zeolites


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