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Well-Defined Silanols in the Structure of the Calcined High-Silica Zeolite SSZ-70: New Understanding of a Successful Catalytic Material

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journal contribution
posted on 25.10.2017, 00:00 by Stef Smeets, Zachariah J. Berkson, Dan Xie, Stacey I. Zones, Wei Wan, Xiaodong Zou, Ming-Feng Hsieh, Bradley F. Chmelka, Lynne B. McCusker, Christian Baerlocher
The structure of the calcined form of the high-silica zeolite SSZ-70 has been elucidated by combining synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and two-dimensional (2D) dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP)-enhanced NMR techniques. The framework structure of SSZ-70 is a polytype of MWW and can be viewed as a disordered ABC-type stacking of MWW-layers. HRTEM and XRPD simulations show that the stacking sequence is almost random, with each layer being shifted by ±1/3 along the ⟨110⟩ direction with respect to the previous one. However, a small preponderance of ABAB stacking could be discerned. DNP-enhanced 2D 29Si­{29Si} J-mediated NMR analyses of calcined Si-SSZ-70 at natural 29Si isotopic abundance (4.7%) establish the through-covalent-bond 29Si–O-29Si connectivities of distinct Si sites in the framework. The DNP-NMR results corroborate the presence of MWW layers and, more importantly, identify two distinct types of Q3 silanol species at the surfaces of the interlayer regions. In the first, an isolated silanol group protrudes into the interlayer space pointing toward the pocket in the adjacent layer. In the second, the surrounding topology is the same, but the isolated −SiOH group is missing, leaving a nest of three Si–O–H groups in place of the three Si–O–Si linkages. The analyses clarify the structure of this complicated material, including features that do not exhibit long-range order. With these insights, the novel catalytic behavior of SSZ-70 can be better understood and opportunities for enhancement recognized.

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