What is it about?

What does water do inside channels of similar size but different hydrophilicity? We studied the behaviour of water in two porous host materials. The first one is zeolite L, which is hydrophilic. The second one is a metal organic framework, or MOF, which has pores of similar size, but less affinity to water.

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Why is it important?

We found that water stabilzes both materials. The shape of the water aggregates depends on the affinity of the hosts to water. While the MOF contains well-separated water rings, the zeolite contains a continuous water tube in which some water molecules are surrounded by five strong hydrogen bonds. This insight may help to enhance the stability of the composite materials based on zeolite L, which are used in several applications.


The information obtained on the water clusters inside the MOF could help to exploit this material as host matrix for new compounds. Zeolite L is an important material for solar cell applications, but proton activity inside the channels may give problems. Now we have identified a possible cause of the problem. This could be a first important step to improve the stability and the performances of these materials.

Gloria Tabacchi
university of insubria

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Water in zeolite L and its MOF mimic, Zeitschrift für Kristallographie - Crystalline Materials, March 2019, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/zkri-2018-2153.
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