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Enantiomerically enriched, polycrystalline molecular sieves

ABSTRACT

Zeolite and zeolite-like molecular sieves are being used in a large number of applications such as adsorption and catalysis. Achievement of the long-standing goal of creating a chiral, polycrystalline molecular sieve with bulk enantioenrichment would enable these materials to perform enantioselective functions. Here, we report the synthesis of enantiomerically enriched samples of a molecular sieve. Enantiopure organic structure directing agents are designed with the assistance of computational methods and used to synthesize enantioenriched, polycrystalline molecular sieve samples of either enantiomer. Computational results correctly predicted which enantiomer is obtained, and enantiomeric enrichment is proven by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The enantioenriched and racemic samples of the molecular sieves are tested as adsorbents and heterogeneous catalysts. The enantioenriched molecular sieves show enantioselectivity for the ring opening reaction of epoxides and enantioselective adsorption of 2-butanol (the R enantiomer of the molecular sieve shows opposite and approximately equal enantioselectivity compared with the S enantiomer of the molecular sieve, whereas the racemic sample of the molecular sieve shows no enantioselectivity).