Atomic structure of a cesium aluminosilicate geopolymer: A pair distribution function study

Jonathan L. Bell, Pankaj Sarin, John L. Provis, Ryan P. Haggerty, Patrick E. Driemeyer, Peter J. Chupas, Jannie S.J. Van Deventer, Waltraud M. Kriven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The atomic pair distribution function (PDF) method was used to study the structure of cesium aluminosilicate geopolymer (Cs2O·Al 2O3·4SiO2·xH2O, with x - 11). The geopolymer was prepared by reacting metakaolin with cesium silicate solution followed by curing at 50 °C for 24 h in a sealed container. Heating of Cs-geopolymer above 1000 °C resulted in formation of crystalline pollucite (CsAlSi2O6). PDF refinement of the pollucite phase formed displayed an excellent fit over the 10-30 Å range when compared with a cubic pollucite model. A poorer fit was attained from 1 -10 Å due to an additional amorphous phase present in the heated geopolymer. On the basis of PDF analysis, unheated Cs-geopolymer displayed structural ordering similar to pollucite up to a length scale of ∼9 Å, despite some differences. Our results suggest that hydrated Cs+ ions were an integral part of the Cs-geopolymer structure and that most of the water present was not associated with Al-OH or Si-OH bonds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4768-4776
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 22 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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