Guest-host coupling and anharmonicity in clathrate hydrates
Institut Laue-Langevin Grenoble, B.P. 156, 38042, Grenoble Cedex, France
2 GZG Abt. Kristallographie, Universität Göttingen, Goldschmidtstr. 1, 37077, Göttingen, Germany
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We present a review of our work on the dynamics of clathrate hydrates (gas hydrates). The experimental results obtained with inelastic neutron scattering are compared with molecular-dynamics calculations. The vibrations of the guest molecules and their coupling to the cages is found to depend critically on the size, shape and electrostatic properties of the encaged guest. Atoms like xenon, that are large enough to fill the cages, show close-to-harmonic behaviour and couple strongly to the cage vibrations. Small atoms and molecules fully explore the anharmonicities of the potential within the cage, in particular at low frequencies and low temperatures. Their dynamic response is broad in energy and they couple weakly to the cage vibrations. The relevance of the microscopic dynamics for cage stability and the glass-like thermal conductivity is discussed. We equally place the observed dynamic peculiarities into the broader context of vibrations in disordered systems. Raman spectroscopic results on internal guest vibrations at high frequencies reflect also the influence of guest-host interactions and are discussed in the framework of the loose-cage tight-cage model.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003