Natural porous solids such as zeolites are invariably formed with inorganic cations such as Na+ and K+ (refs 1, 2). However, current research on new porous materials is mainly focused on the use of organic species as either structure-directing or structure-building units; purely inorganic systems have received relatively little attention in exploratory synthetic work3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Here we report the synthesis of a series of three-dimensional sulphides and selenides containing highly mobile alkali metal cations as charge-balancing extra-framework cations. Such crystalline inorganic chalcogenides integrate zeolite-like architecture with high anionic framework polarizability and high concentrations of mobile cations. Such structural features are particularly desirable for the development of fast-ion conductors10. These materials demonstrate high ionic conductivity (up to 1.8 × 10-2 ohm-1 cm-1) at room temperature and moderate to high humidity. This synthetic methodology, together with novel structural, physical and chemical properties, may lead to the development of new microporous and open-framework materials with potential applications in areas such as batteries, fuel cells, electrochemical sensors and photocatalysis.
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We acknowledge the support of this work by the NSF. We also thank Y. Yan and his group for assistance with impedance measurements.
The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.
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