What is it about?

The stability of dyes can be enhanced by inserting them into the channels of porous materials called zeolites. The zeolites are resistant to heat and pressure, acting as a protective shield around the dye. Plugging the channel entrances, so that the included dyes cannot escape into the environment, is crucial for the long-term stability of these compounds, relevant in solar technologies. Our work shows how the zeolite channel entrances may be fully 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 important for the fabrication 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 either block or leave partially accessible the entrances of a porous host material. Specifically, the pore occlusion depends on the size, shape, and chemical nature of the stopper. This knowledge would help to achieve precise chemical modification of zeolite-pores in advanced materials. As dye-zeolite hybrids are important building block for artificial antenna systems, our results could help improving 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 International Edition, August 2015, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/anie.201504745.
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