Professors Wiesław J. Roth from the Jagiellonian University and Jiří Čejka from the Charles University in Prague have been presented with the Alex F. Croinstedt Award by the Federation of European Zeolite Associations (FEZA). They received the award for heir substantial contributions to the fundamental aspects of synthesis and understanding of two-dimensional zeolites, including general methodology for soft-chemical manipulation of zeolite layers to produce different frameworks, swelling and interlayer chemistry of layered MWW zeolites, and soft chemical exfoliation in preparation of liquid dispersions of zeolite monolayers.
The award is given individuals or to groups working in Europe for a contribution to science and technology related to zeolites, ordered mesoporous materials, metal-organic frameworks or other porous materials with significant scientific impact during the six years prior to the nomination deadline. It was named named in the honour of the Swedish mineralogist Axel F. Cronstedt (1722–1765), who was the first scientist to describe distinctive properties of zeolites and introduce the term 'zeolite'.
This year's Award was presented to the reserachers for their significant contributions to the fundamental aspects of zeolites, which for over 50 years have been effectively used as catalysts for crude oil processing, water softening, drying agents, and recently, leading materials in ecological chemical processes. Surprisingly, zeolites exhibit structural duality and aside from forming unmodifiable tri-dimentional structures, they can also form two-dimensional nanolayers, which can be altered both spatially (like Lego blocks) and chemically, resulting in new and imporved materials. Professors Roth and Čejka have developed the general methodology of zeolite processing in order to create new structures, some of which have previously been deemed impossible to achieved. Recently, they have successfully attempted to disperse monolayers in a solution, allowing for limitless options in designing hybrids and composites, particularly in 'green' processes and purification.
Prof. Wiesław J. Roth is a member of the JU Faculty of Chemistry since 2012. For 21 years he has worked at Mobil R&D in Paulsboro and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering in Clinton. He graduated from the Wrocław University of Technology and Southern Illinois University w Carbondale, where he earned his PhD. In 2018, he was granted the title of professor in Poland for his outstanding research contributions. He specialises in the synthesis and introduction of catalysts called molecular sieves, particularly zeolites. His research revolves around porous materials synthesis, with strong emphasis on two-dimensional and coloidal zeolite development.
Source: FEZA website