Also used to describe the lattice of water molecules that surround an ion or nonpolar species in solution. Since water hydrogen bonds to form networks, cages can appear around atoms that do not make bonds with the water. These structures are dynamic, however, since the bonding between H|||O changes rapidly at room temperature (millions to billions of times a second). Relative to bulk solution, the clathrate is stabilised by the guest it encloses but it still much less stable than, say, ice. Not to be confused with clathrin, which also forms cage complexes.

A type of solid in which water molecules form cages that trap a gas, formed by very slowly warming a mixture of the gas and tiny grains of ice.

From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.

Clath"rate (?), a. [L. clathri lattie, Gr. .]

1. Bot.

Shaped like a lattice; cancellate.

Gray.

2. Zool.

Having the surface marked with raised lines resembling a lattice, as many shells.

 

© Webster 1913.

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