Xenon, one of the ‘noble gases’ was discovered in 1893 by William Ramsay and Morris Travers who had also discovered its companions neon and krypton. Like all nobel gases, xenon finds it hard to bond with other elements and this can lead to some very interesting structures. When xenon is mixed with water and forced to crystallise (usually under high pressure and low temperatures) then the water, unable to bond with the xenon itself under these conditions, forms cages around it. Known as a ‘clathrate’ hydrate - we’re featuring the sI cubic form. This structure will change under different conditions, and the paper featured describes how this results in new water-cage structures.
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