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Physcial Sciences Division
Staff Awards & Honors

June 2013

Arslan's Research Graces the North American Catalysis Society Meeting's Program

Zeolite delamination featured on the 23rd North American Catalysis Society meeting program cover. Enlarge Image

Congratulations to Dr. Ilke Arslan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, on having her scientific image chosen as the cover art for the North American Catalysis Society meeting.  The image depicts the morphological changes of a layered zeolite before and after delamination.  Delamination, the process of "peeling" apart stacked zeolite sheets, provides more accessible surface area where bulky molecules can react. This interaction is important for the petrochemical industry.

Combining ex situ material treatment with electron tomography at DOE's EMSL and powerful reconstruction algorithms provided the first direct, three-dimensional observation of the delamination mechanism. The reconstruction algorithms used to create the tomograms, not commercially available, provided higher resolution reconstructions with fewer images, which is key for beam sensitive materials such as zeolites.

Arslan's team is pushing the frontiers of in situ electron tomography, the ultimate for understanding structure-property-activity relationships. This work is happening through the Chemical Imaging Initiative at PNNL and Laboratory Directed Research and Development seed funds.

As the cover art for the 23rd North American Catalysis Society meeting, the image will appear on the main program cover as well as the poster program cover. The event, held in Louisville, Kentucky, June 2-7, 2013, will bring together more than 1,000 participants to share technical progress and challenges in all areas related to catalysis. 

The cover image was developed in a collaboration among PNNL, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Alabama. Arslan with Joost Batenburg and graduate student John Roehling performed the 3D analysis and reconstruction of the zeolite at PNNL, with a sample made by the group of Alex Katz and Stacey Zones at Berkeley; collaborators are Bruce Gates and David Dixon. Support was provided by DOE Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences and Laboratory Directed Research and Development funds at PNNL. The tomograms were artistically enhanced by PNNL graphic artist Nathan Johnson.

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