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Fundamental Studies of Crystal Growth of Microporous MaterialsMicroporous materials are framework structures with well-defined porosity, often of molecular dimensions. Zeolites contain aluminum and silicon atoms in their framework and are the most extensively studied amongst all microporous materials. Framework structures with P, Ga, Fe, Co, Zn, B, Ti and a host of other elements have also been made. Typical synthesis of microporous materials involve mixing the framework elements (or compounds, thereof) in a basic solution, followed by aging in some cases and then heating at elevated temperatures. This process is termed hydrothermal synthesis, and involves complex chemical and physical changes. Because of a limited understanding of this process, most synthesis advancements happen by a trial and error approach. There is considerable interest in understanding the synthesis process at a molecular level with the expectation that eventually new framework structures will be built by design. The basic issues in the microporous materials crystallization process include: (1) Nature of the molecular units responsible for the crystal nuclei formation; (2) Nature of the nuclei and nucleation process; (3) Growth process of the nuclei into crystal; (4) Morphological control and size of the resulting crystal; (5) Surface structure of the resulting crystals; (6) Transformation of frameworks into other frameworks or condensed structures. The NASA-funded research described in this report focuses to varying degrees on all of the above issues and has been described in several publications. Following is the presentation of the highlights of our current research program. The report is divided into five sections: (1) Fundamental aspects of the crystal growth process; (2) Morphological and Surface properties of crystals; (3) Crystal dissolution and transformations; (4) Modeling of Crystal Growth; (5) Relevant Microgravity Experiments.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Dutta, P.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
George, M.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Ramachandran, N.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Schoeman, B.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Curreri, Peter A.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2002
Subject Category
Solid-State Physics
Meeting Information
Meeting: Microgravity Materials Science Conference Proceedings
Location: Huntsville, AL
Country: United States
Start Date: June 25, 2002
End Date: June 26, 2002
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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