Russina, M.; Kemner, E.; Mezei, F.: Intra-cage dynamics of molecular hydrogen confined in cages of two different dimensions of clathrate hydrates. Scientific Reports 6 (2016), p. 27417/1-8
Open Accesn Version

In porous materials the molecular confinement is often realized by means of weak Van der Waals interactions between the molecule and the pore surface. The understanding of the mechanism of such interactions is important for a number of applications. In order to establish the role of the confinement size we have studied the microscopic dynamics of molecular hydrogen stored in the nanocages of clathrate hydrates of two different dimensions. We have found that by varying the size of the pore the diffusive mobility of confined hydrogen can be modified in both directions, i.e. reduced or enhanced compared to that in the bulk solid at the same temperatures. In the small cages with a mean crystallographic radius of 3.95 Å the confinement reduces diffusive mobility by orders of magnitude. In contrast, in large cages with a mean radius of 4.75 Å hydrogen molecules displays diffusive jump motion between different equilibrium sites inside the cages, visible at temperatures where bulk H2 is solid. The localization of H2 molecules observed in small cages can promote improved functional properties valuable for hydrogen storage applications.