What is it about?

The photostability of dyes is considerably improved by inserting them into zeolite channels: in this way, the molecules are protected by the porous host matrix. Plugging the channel entrances, so that the dye molecules cannot escape into the environment, is crucial for the long-term stability of these important composites. Our work shows how the zeolite channel entrances may effectively be sealed by stopper molecules.

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Why is it important?

How does the entrance of a nanometric pore appear to an incoming molecule? This information is greatly important for the fabrication and functionalization of novel electro-optical materials for solar energy applications, because these materials can be realized by loading dye molecules inside the pores of zeolites. For the first time, our study provides a molecular-level view of the pore entrances, which could facilitate the rational design of these useful materials.


We showed that different types of stopper molecules may plug the entrances of a porous host material either partially or completely, depending on the size, shape, and chemical nature of the stopper. This knowledge would be instrumental for obtaining the desired chemical functionalization of zeolite-pores in advanced materials. As dye-zeolite hybrids are important building blocks for artificial antenna systems, our results could foster further development of such fascinating biomimetic devices.

Gloria Tabacchi
university of insubria

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This page is a summary of: Structure of Nanochannel Entrances in Stopcock-Functionalized Zeolite L Composites, Angewandte Chemie, August 2015, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/ange.201504745.
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