Pressure-induced symmetry changes in body-centred cubic zeolites

Antony Nearchou, Mero Lee U. Cornelius, Zöe L. Jones1, I. E. Collings, Stephen A. Wells, Paul R. Raithby, Asel Sartbaeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)


Previous work has shown a strong correlation between zeolite framework flexibility and the nature of structural symmetry and phase transitions. However, there is little experimental data regarding this relationship, in addition to how flexibility can be connected to the synthesis of these open-framework materials. This is of interest for the synthesis of novel zeolites, which require organic additives to permutate the resulting geometry and symmetry of the framework. Here, we have used high-pressure powder X-ray diffraction to study the three zeolites: Na-X, RHO and ZK-5, which can all be prepared using 18-crown-6 ether as an organic additive. We observe significant differences in how the occluded 18-crown-6 ether influences the framework flexibility-this being dependent on the geometry of the framework. We use these differences as an indicator to define the role of 18-crown-6 ether during zeolite crystallization. Furthermore, in conjunction with previous work, we predict that pressureinduced symmetry transitions are intrinsic to body-centred cubic zeolites. The high symmetry yields fewer degrees of freedom, meaning it is energetically favourable to lower the symmetry to facilitate further compression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number182158
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2019


  • Cubic
  • High pressure
  • Phase transition
  • Symmetry
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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