Skip to main content

Micro- and Nanoscale Heterogeneities in Zeolite Beta as Measured by Atom Probe Tomography and Confocal Fluorescence Microscop...

by Sophie Vreeswijk, Luke Parker, Marisa N Jenkins, Jonathan D Poplawsky, Bert Weckhuysen
Publication Type
Journal Name
Publication Date

Micro- and nanoscale information on the activating and deactivating coking behaviour of zeolite catalyst materials increases our current understanding of many industrially applied processes, such as the methanol-to-hydrocarbon (MTH) reaction. Atom probe tomography (APT) was used to reveal the link between framework and coke elemental distributions in 3D with sub-nanometre resolution. APT revealed 10–20 nanometre-sized Al-rich regions and short-range ordering (within nanometres) between Al atoms. With confocal fluorescence microscopy, it was found that the morphology of the zeolite crystal as well as the secondary mesoporous structures have a great effect on the microscale coke distribution throughout individual zeolite crystals over time. Additionally, a nanoscale heterogeneous distribution of carbon as residue from the MTH reaction was determined with carbon-rich areas of tens of nanometres within the zeolite crystals. Lastly, a short length-scale affinity between C and Al atoms, as revealed by APT, indicates the formation of carbon-containing molecules next to the acidic sites in the zeolite.