Hydrogen Clusters in Clathrate Hydrate

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Science  27 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5590, pp. 2247-2249
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075394

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High-pressure Raman, infrared, x-ray, and neutron studies show that H2 and H2O mixtures crystallize into the sII clathrate structure with an approximate H2/H2O molar ratio of 1:2. The clathrate cages are multiply occupied, with a cluster of two H2 molecules in the small cage and four in the large cage. Substantial softening and splitting of hydrogen vibrons indicate increased intermolecular interactions. The quenched clathrate is stable up to 145 kelvin at ambient pressure. Retention of hydrogen at such high temperatures could help its condensation in planetary nebulae and may play a key role in the evolution of icy bodies.

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