Figure 2.4 Analogy between natural and zeolite-based photosynthetic reaction centers. (Courtesy of T.E. Mallouk.)

Zeolites are a form of aluminosilicate. "There are many different polymorphs of this general formula," said Mallouk, "and they have the endearing property that the holes in them are about the size of a molecule, about 6 or 7 angstroms across. You have an array of linear tunnels that run through the structure, with the tunnels packed in next to one another." By exploiting the diameter of the tunnel to exclude molecules of a certain size, adding some useful catalysts, and charging the system with a calculated amount of energy, Mallouk's team was able to trap the target molecule inside the tunnel, where it could not escape while the scientists beamed their light and photolyzed it. The first transfer step occurs when the electron escapes



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