Towards a better understanding of Lewis acidic aluminium in zeolites

M. Ravi, V.L. Sushkevich, J.A. van Bokhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Zeolites are a class of materials that are of great relevance for industrial catalysis. Several fundamental questions relating to the structure and role of the Lewis acid sites in these materials remain unanswered. Proposals for the origin of such species can broadly be classified into three categories, which have distinct structures: extra-framework, framework-associated and framework aluminium. In this Perspective, we review each of these proposals and proceed to analyse their suitability to understand experimental results. Contrary to traditional belief, the number of Lewis acid sites does not always correlate to extra-framework aluminium content. As a result, we highlight that the terms ‘extra-framework’ and ‘framework-associated’ aluminium should be used with caution. We propose how the usage of different characterization techniques can enable the closure of knowledge gaps concerning the strength, multiplicity, localization and structure of catalytically active Lewis acid sites in zeolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1056
Number of pages10
JournalNature Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the ESI Platform of the Paul Scherrer Institute and ETH Zurich for financial support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Limited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards a better understanding of Lewis acidic aluminium in zeolites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this