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Photochemical studies with a zeolite Y membrane formed via secondary growth

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Zeolite membranes offer an attractive feature in design of artificial photosynthetic assemblies because they can keep the charge separated species apart, yet allow for communication between the two sides via the intervening zeolite channels and cages. However, such a strategy would require that the zeolite membrane be pinhole-free. In an earlier paper (J. Phys. Chem. B 106, 11898 (2002)), we have shown that nanocrystalline zeolite Y can be spin-coated on porous substrates to form membranes, and the pinholes can be plugged by a photoresist. Such membranes do not allow manipulation at higher temperatures or even in solution chemistry because of the thermal instability and solubility characteristics of the photoresist. In this paper, we report on a zeolite Y membrane made by the secondary growth method. The growth process leads to minimal pinholes as determined by leak tests. The sturdiness of the membranes allows for manipulation and we have shown that organic reactions can be carried out in the zeolite pores. Charge transport through the membrane by an electron hopping process mediated via self-exchange of ion-exchanged bipyridinium ions are demonstrated. The electron transfer was initiated using a photochemical Ru(bpy)2+3-EDTA system.


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