What is it about?

We studied a rare mineral (a natural zeolite) with a peculiar structure. The mineral has straight channels in which water molecules are hosted. Using experimental and computational techniques, we tried to understand the arrangement of the water molecules inside the channels.

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Why is it important?

We found a one-dimensional chain of water molecules inside the zeolite channels. We showed that it is stable and it is not directly connected to the oxygen atoms of the zeolite via hydrogen bonds.


The fabrication of nano-wires confined in porous matrices is an exciting area for many technological applications. It is very important to understand how these species can be introduced and stabilized in a porous material like a zeolite. A first step in this direction may be to reveal how nature works. That's what we did by studying the water wires naturally confined inside this mineral.

Gloria Tabacchi
university of insubria

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: One-dimensional ice in bikitaite: single-crystal X-ray diffraction, infra-red spectroscopy and ab-initio molecular dynamics studies, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, August 1999, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/s1387-1811(99)00027-x.
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