Elucidating the germanium distribution in ITQ-13 zeolites by density functional theory

18 January 2022, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


ITQ-13 is a medium-pore zeolite that can be prepared in all-silica form and as silicogermanate with Si/Ge ratios as low as 3. Usually synthesised in the presence of fluoride, ITQ-13 is among the very few systems containing fluoride anions in two distinct cage types, cube-like d4r units and [4·56] cages. Here, dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT) calculations are used to investigate the energetically most favourable Ge distributions for Si/Ge ratios between 55 and 6. The calculations show Ge atoms are incorporated at both the corners of d4r cages and at the basal plane of the [4·56] cages, in accordance with 19F-NMR spectroscopy. Two Ge atoms at adjacent corners of [4·56] cages are stable at the highest Ge content considered (Si/Ge = 6). Such a local environment has not yet been considered in the experimental literature. A calculation of the corresponding 19F-NMR resonance points to overlap with other resonances, which might preclude its clear identification. Additional calculations investigate the variation of the dynamic behaviour of the fluoride anions as a function of the local environment as well as the selective defluorination of the [4·56] cages.


AIMD simulations
DFT calculations
dynamic disorder
local structure
NMR spectroscopy
fluoride anions

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Details of individual ITQ-13 models, full results of DFT optimisations, visualisation of low-energy structures, tables and figures reporting individual RMSD values, and full results for partially defluorinated systems.

Supplementary weblinks


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