Natl Sci Rev. 2022 Feb 23;9(9):nwac023. doi: 10.1093/nsr/nwac023. eCollection 2022 Sep.
Zeolites, a class of silica-based porous materials, have been widely employed in the chemical industry for uses such as sorption, separation, catalysis and ion exchange. Normally, the synthesis of zeolites is performed in the presence of organic templates via a trial-and-error route, which is labor-intensive and empirical. In recent years, theoretical simulation from the interaction between a zeolite structure and an organic template has been used to guide the synthesis of zeolites, which is time-saving. In this review, recent progress in the targeted synthesis of zeolites from interaction between a zeolite structure and an organic template are briefly outlined including the design of new templates for zeolite synthesis, preparation of zeolites with new composition, development of novel routes for zeolite synthesis, synthesis of intergrowth zeolites, generation of novel zeolite structures, control of zeolite morphology and modulation of aluminum distribution in zeolites. These targeted syntheses reveal that the minimum energy principle from the theoretical simulation is key for guiding zeolite crystallization. This review will be important for zeolite researchers for rationally synthesizing zeolites and effectively designing new zeolite structures.