Quantum dynamics of small H2 and D2 clusters in the large cage of structure II clathrate hydrate: Energetics, occupancy, and vibrationally averaged cluster structures

Francesco Sebastianelli, Minzhong Xu, Zlatko Bačić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We report diffusion Monte Carlo (DMC) calculations of the quantum translation-rotation (T-R) dynamics of one to five para- H2(p-H 2) and ortho- D2 (o-D2) molecules inside the large hexakaidecahedral (51264) cage of the structure II clathrate hydrate, which was taken to be rigid. These calculations provide a quantitative description of the size evolution of the ground-state properties, energetics, and the vibrationally averaged geometries, of small (p-H 2)n and (o-D2)n clusters, n=1-5, in nanoconfinement. The zero-point energy (ZPE) of the T-R motions rises steeply with the cluster size, reaching 74% of the potential well depth for the caged (p-H2)4. At low temperatures, the rapid increase of the cluster ZPE as a function of n is the main factor that limits the occupancy of the large cage to at most four H2 or D2 molecules, in agreement with experiments. Our DMC results concerning the vibrationally averaged spatial distribution of four D2 molecules, their mean distance from the cage center, the D2 - D2 separation, and the specific orientation and localization of the tetrahedral (D 2)4 cluster relative to the framework of the large cage, agree very well with the low-temperature neutron diffraction experiments involving the large cage with the quadruple D2 occupancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number244706
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume129
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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