Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Jennifer Holt


Arts and Sciences


Chemistry department

ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0001-8116-1217; 0000-0001-9680-4916

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-29-2022


Host-guest systems occur when guest molecules enter the channel of a host material but do not chemically bond together. The guest in this study is Brooker's Merocyanine (BM) dye molecules and the host is Zeolite L. Previous studies have used similar dyes and found that they enter the channels of the zeolite. This study synthesized materials to determine if BM molecules behave the same way, or if the dye molecules are only adsorbed to the surface. The dye-zeolite products were characterized using UV/Vis spectroscopy and powder x-ray diffraction pattern, it was confirmed we could reproducibly synthesize Zeolite L with minimal merlinoite and sanidine impurities. By soaking Zeolite L in a BM solution, using 2-propanol as the solvent, the dye was adsorbed to the zeolite. This had to be done under specific conditions because BM is sensitive to changes in solvent, light exposure, and pH, which makes it challenging to study. BM solutions were characterized using UV/Vis spectroscopy to determine the optimal dye loading conditions. We found that limiting light exposure in acidic conditions is a key factor to obtain reproducible results. Understanding BM in solution makes it possible to learn more about the BM dye-zeolite system in order to prepare optimal dye-loaded samples. These samples will be characterized through BET analysis, which is used to determine the location of BM in Zeolite L. Studying these interactions can lead to new practical materials.

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Biographical Information about Author(s)

Alyssa Barnes is an upcoming third-year student at Valparaiso University. She is currently studying Biochemistry and hopes to go to grad school one day to continue her research journey.