Behaviour at high pressure of a rubidium zeolite
What is it about?
What happens to porous materials when they are compressed by very high forces? Would they collapse? What if the force is exerted by a fluid that can enter the pores? To answer these questions - and many others - here we studied how the geometry and composition of a synthetic porous material - a rubidium zeolite - is modified by the application of high external pressures.
Why is it important?
Thanks to the joint effort of high-pressure experiments and accurate atomistic simulations, we discovered the mechanisms governing the compression of the porous material. Surprisingly, our material did not show phase transitions, and we did not even observe the penetration of molecules within the P-range investigated. Instead, the zeolite responds to the applied pressure in the easiest and cheapest way: its building blocks rotate around their axis so as to decrease the free volume of the pores. In other words, the building blocks do not deform under the effect of pressure, and no chemical bond is broken (or formed). We also found that the changes induced by pressure are completely reversible: the material recovers the original structure in returning to room pressure,
The following have contributed to this page: Gloria Tabacchi
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