Simulations on "Piz Daint" explain surprising mineral behaviour

Evolution of the unit-cell volume of Pb-stellerite as a function of temperature obtained by single crystal X-ray diffraction and corresponding structural transformation in the framework observed by in situ measurements and atomistic simulations. (Image: University of Bern, Georgia Cametti & Sergey Churakov)

Zeolites are a class of shapely, colourful minerals with very special properties, making them omnipresent in our surroundings. They accelerate chemical reactions, absorb hazardous contaminants and water to a high degree, for example. Their only limitation is that they usually lose their peculiar crystalline structure at high temperatures. Now researchers at the University of Bern have found an unexpected exception.

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Prof. Dr. Sergey Churakov
Head of Laboratory for Waste Management, LES
Paul Scherrer Institute, Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
Telephone +41 56 310 41 13, email

Original Publication

Pbx(OH)y cluster formation and anomalous thermal behaviour in STI framework-type zeolites
Georgia Cametti, Diana P. Roos, Damien Prieur, Andreas C. Scheinost & Sergey V. Churakov
Scientific Reports volume 12, Article number: 15934 (2022)