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Hydrogen-Stuffed, Quartz-like Water Ice

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journal contribution
posted on 19.08.2016, 00:00 by Timothy A. Strobel, Maddury Somayazulu, Stanislav V. Sinogeikin, Przemyslaw Dera, Russell J. Hemley
Through use of in situ Raman spectroscopy and single-crystal/powder X-ray diffraction, we resolve the “C0” phase structure discovered recently in the H2 + H2O system. This phase forms at ∼400 MPa and 280 K with the nominal composition (H2O)2H2 and three formula units per unit cell. The hexagonal structure is chiral, consisting of interpenetrating spiral chains of hydrogen-bonded water molecules and rotationally disordered H2 molecules, and shows topological similarities with the mineral quartz. Like other clathrate hydrates and forms of ice, the protons of H2O molecules within C0 are disordered. The large zeolite-like channels accommodate significant amounts of hydrogen (5.3% by weight) in a unique hydrogen-bonded lattice, which might be applicable to the thermodynamic conditions found on icy planetary bodies.