Layered silicates with three-dimensional microporosity within the layers have the potential to enable new applications in catalysis, adsorption and ion-exchange. Until now no such materials have been reported. However, here we present the synthesis and structure of AMH-3, a silicate with three-dimensionally microporous layers, obtained in high purity and crystallinity. AMH-3 is composed of silicate layers containing eight-membered rings in all three principal crystal directions, and spaced by strontium cations, sodium cations and water molecules. Because of its three-dimensional pore structure, acid and thermal stability, this layered material could find applications in polymer-silicate composites for membrane applications, for synthesis of combined microporous-mesoporous materials, and for the formation of new zeolites and microporous films. Its existence also opens new possibilities for the synthesis of other layered silicates with multidimensional microporous framework layers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge support from NASA-Microgravity (98-HEDS-05-218), NSF (CTS 0091406) and Engelhard Co. Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to M.T. Supplementary Information is available on the website for Nature Materials (http://www.nature.com/naturematerials)