Extremely Slow Diffusion of Argon Atoms in Clathrate Cages: Implications for Gas Storage in Solid Materials

Yesol Woo, Martín Pérez-Rodríguez, Jae Hak Jeong, Manuel M. Piñeiro, Jong Won Lee, Yongjae Lee, Sung Hee Jung, Hyunjeong Kim, Satoshi Takeya, Yoshitaka Yamamoto, Ji Ho Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Guest molecular diffusion in porous crystalline materials is pivotal in their functionality, stability, and reactivity. Understanding the diffusion behavior of guest molecules in clathrate frameworks has been hindered, however, by the lack of experimental data and theoretical investigations over long time scales. We report here extremely slow diffusion of argon atoms in hydroquinone clathrate, an exemplary host-guest material. The diffusion coefficient of argon in one-dimensional cage channels of hydroquinone clathrate is estimated as 4.9 × 10-19 m2 s-1 at 298 K with an activation energy of 79.1 kJ mol-1. This value is 4 orders of magnitude slower than the diffusivities of all clathrate materials reported to date. Coupled with the umbrella sampling method, molecular dynamics simulations reveal that no spontaneous hopping events of atoms across the neighboring cages occur during one microsecond as the hydrogen-bonded hexagonal entrance of the cages sets a high energy barrier for diffusion. Our results shed light on the long-term stability of clathrate compounds as well as on tailoring guest-host materials for gas storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7479-7488
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 7

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Yosep Han for the SEM image analysis and Dr. Sanehiro Muromachi for helpful discussions. Synchrotron XRD measurements were performed at the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and POSTECH. Solid-state NMR data were acquired at the Western Seoul Center of KBSI. This work was supported by the Nuclear Energy Research Program (2018072230, 2018065795) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant founded by MSIT and the KAERI Major Project, Development of Radioisotope Production and Application Technology (525330-19). M.M.P. and M.P.-R. acknowledge CESGA ( www.cesga.es ) for providing access to computing facilities, and Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad in Spain for its financial support [Grant ref. FIS2015-68910-P cofinanced with European Regional Development Funds (ERDF)].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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