The use of organic additives presents the greatest versatility and control of zeolite synthesis in order to prepare novel architectures for desired applications. Despite this prospect, there is little clarity of how organic additives are involved in framework assembly and the range of behaviours that are available. To address this issue, we have considered zeolites RHO and ZK-5 which can both be prepared using 18-crown-6 ether as an additive. Previously, this additive has shown to employ different structure directing behaviours to assemble a variety of zeolites. We have used high resolution powder X-ray diffraction and Rietveld refinement to determine structural models for zeolites RHO and ZK-5 with 18-crown-6 ether occluded in the framework. In doing so, we can observe the identity, location and orientation of the occluded additive and reason the structure directing behaviour in synthesis. We report that the isolated 18-crown-6 ether molecule is involved in the assembly of zeolite RHO, and for zeolite ZK-5 it is the K+ coordinated macrocation. In both cases the relevant additive is disordered in the framework, suggesting that they behave as space-filling species that stabilise the formation of the α-cage.
- crown ether
- synthesis (chemical)