Zeolites/molecular sieves with uniform, molecular-sized pores are important for many adsorption-based separation processes. Pore size gaps, however, exist in the current zeolite family. This leads to a great challenge of separating molecules with size differences at ~0.01 nm level. Here, we report a novel concept, pore misalignment, to form a continuously adjustable, molecular-sieving “gate” at the 5A zeolite pore entrance without sacrificing the internal capacity. Misalignment of the micropores of the alumina coating with the 5A zeolite pores was related with and facilely adjusted by the coating thickness. For the first time, organic molecules with sub-0.01 nm size differences were effectively distinguished via appropriate misalignment. This novel concept may have great potential to fill the pore size gaps of the zeolite family and realize size-selective adsorption separation.

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Published by the Nature Publishing Group

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Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


RIT – Main Campus