Geoffrey Price’s favorite structure is:

Zeolite Beta



My favorite crystal is zeolite beta, an intergrowth of two polymorphs, which I am holding in the picture. You can think of beta somewhat like taking these two models, shaving them into layers, and shuffling them like a deck of cards. I originally saw the structure of beta in 1985 in the Mobil Princeton labs where I had taken a consulting job working in Roland vonBallmoos’ group. The structure fascinated me because one of the polymorphs contains a spiral pore. Could it be grown in enantiomeric forms? Could it be used to separate enantiomers of organic compounds? But in my exit interview, I was told specifically that the structure of beta was one the top secrets of the company. Nothing could be said about it. Scroll forward 4 years to 1989 at Exxon Clinton labs. I was again a consultant and was in the office of John Newsam. Sitting on his desk was model of a zeolite. I picked it up to examine it, and because of the spiral pore, I recognized it as zeolite beta. 30 years later, I am still fascinated enough to build a digital model of the structure and have the two polymorphs printed.—Geoffrey Price

What's Your Favorite Crystal Structure? Upload it here »

View all reader favorites »

1 comment

  1. Hi. Our mutual friend Bruce Hammond sent info on your site and I was impressed with the content. Especially about possibility of some zeolites to separate enantiomers. That kind of zeolites could be produced in the Nature and build first steps for biological life. Very interesting. Also, you can read about my theory of Hydrocarbons (Oil, Gas) and Water Origin here on my site .
    Thanks for sharing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *