The effect of the condensed-phase environment on the vibrational frequency shift of a hydrogen molecule inside clathrate hydrates

Anna Powers, Yohann Scribano, David Lauvergnat, Elsy Mebe, David M. Benoit, Zlatko Bačić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a theoretical study of the frequency shift (redshift) of the stretching fundamental transition of an H2 molecule confined inside the small dodecahedral cage of the structure II clathrate hydrate and its dependence on the condensed-phase environment. In order to determine how much the hydrate water molecules beyond the confining small cage contribute to the vibrational frequency shift, quantum five-dimensional (5D) calculations of the coupled translation-rotation eigenstates are performed for H2 in the v=0 and v=1 vibrational states inside spherical clathrate hydrate domains of increasing radius and a growing number of water molecules, ranging from 20 for the isolated small cage to over 1900. In these calculations, both H2 and the water domains are treated as rigid. The 5D intermolecular potential energy surface (PES) of H2 inside a hydrate domain is assumed to be pairwise additive. The H2-H2O pair interaction, represented by the 5D (rigid monomer) PES that depends on the vibrational state of H2, v=0 or v=1, is derived from the high-quality ab initio full-dimensional (9D) PES of the H2-H2O complex [P. Valiron et al., J. Chem. Phys. 129, 134306 (2008)]. The H2 vibrational frequency shift calculated for the largest clathrate domain considered, which mimics the condensed-phase environment, is about 10% larger in magnitude than that obtained by taking into account only the small cage. The calculated splittings of the translational fundamental of H2 change very little with the domain size, unlike the H2 j = 1 rotational splittings that decrease significantly as the domain size increases. The changes in both the vibrational frequency shift and the j = 1 rotational splitting due to the condensed-phase effects arise predominantly from the H2O molecules in the first three complete hydration shells around H2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144304
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 14 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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