In an effort to direct the structure formation and subsequently the catalytic properties of novel materials, both organic molecules and transition metals have been systematically incorporated into zinc phosphate materials, and various transition metals into zirconium phosphate materials. The resultant phases in the Zn/P experiments are determined not by the organic template, but by the type and stoichiometric amount of metal incorporated and by the organic template's anion. Furthermore, only one of the phases, a Ni/Zn/P, shows any acidic catalytic behavior. Similarly, the transition metals incorporated in stoichiometric amounts into the catalytically active novel zirconium phosphate are highly structure directing. Their presence inhibits the formation of the phosphate phase, instead promoting the formation of tetragonal ZrO2. The catalytic activity of the products are greatly diminished from the baseline material.
The synthesis and characterization methods for each phase will be presented. Characterization techniques employed include single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, magnetic susceptibility, thermal analysis, DCP and FTIR.