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Zeolites are porous, crystalline substances that have very unique atomic organizations which allow for the formation of complex channels within the crystals. Each type of zeolite has a distinct shape and structure. To better understand the properties of zeolite channels, a dye molecule known as Brooker’s merocyanine was inserted into Zeolite L. Maximum dye loading into the zeolite channels was achieved by altering different experimental variables, such as heat, solution concentration, stirring, cation exchange, and light exposure. X-ray diffraction was used to verify the synthesis of zeolites, the cation exchange process, and dye loading. UV-Vis spectroscopy was used to measure the amount of dye adsorbed by the zeolite. By using the UV-Vis absorbance values and Beer’s Law, the concentration of dye in the zeolites was determined. The results showed that an increase of heat and stirring correlated to an increase of adsorption of dye by the zeolite. Due to the light sensitivity of Brooker’s merocyanine, it was found that limiting the amount of light exposure of the dye solutions also resulted in higher dye adsorption by the zeolites. An increase of the concentration of the dye solution increased the rate of adsorption in the channels. However, exchanging the potassium ions found within the synthesized Zeolite L channels with smaller hydrogen ions did not have an affect on the adsorption of dye in the channels. Characterizing how to achieve a maximum of dye adsorption in the zeolites allows for a better understanding of how dye molecules interact within the zeolite channels.
Weber, Kelsey L.; Henning, Benjamin; Dabertin, Thomas; and Holt, Jennifer, "Spectroscopic Studies of Brooker's Merocyanine in Zeolite L" (2016). Fall Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 26.
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