What is it about?

In certain porous minerals called zeolites, water forms very peculiar structures which are very different from liquid water and normal ice. For example, perfectly ordered chains of molecules that run along the porous channels. We wanted to see why this structure, which cannot exist in normal conditions, is instead very stable inside the pores of the zeolite.

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Why is it important?

This work explains why lithium cation can stabilize very well a chain of water molecules, while sodium can not.


We have shown that moderate differences in the chemical composition of the zeolite cause a very different behaviour of the water molecules. For example, only when lithium is present the water chains can be formed. This information is very important for understanding the unusual behaviour of water when it is entrapped inside cavities or pores.

Gloria Tabacchi
university of insubria

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: On the collective properties of water molecules in one-dimensional zeolitic channels, Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, January 2001, Royal Society of Chemistry,
DOI: 10.1039/b102231h.
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