Structure study of the tri-continuous mesoporous silica IBN-9 by electron crystallography

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Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, ISSN: 1387-1811, Vol: 146, Issue: 1, Page: 88-96

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Zhang, Daliang; Sun, Junliang; Han, Yu; Zou, Xiaodong
Elsevier BV; Elsevier
Materials Science; Engineering; Chemistry; Physics and Astronomy; Electron crystallography; Mesoporous materials; Space group determination; Structure determination; Transmission electron microscopy
article description
High resolution electron microscopy (HRTEM) has unique advantages for structural determination of nano-sized porous materials compared to X-ray diffraction, because it provides the important structure factor phase information which is lost in diffraction. Here we demonstrate the structure determination of the first tri-continuous mesoporous silica IBN-9 by electron crystallography. IBN-9 has a hexagonal unit cell with the space group P 6 3 / mcm and a = 88.4 Å, c = 84.3 Å. HRTEM images taken along three main directions, [0 0 1], [11¯0] and [1 0 0] were combined to reconstruct the 3D electrostatic potential map, from which the tri-continuous pore structure of IBN-9 was discovered. The different steps of structure determination of unknown mesoporous structures by electron crystallography are described in details. Similar procedures can also be applied for structure determination of other porous and nonporous crystalline materials.