Negative thermal expansion and associated anomalous physical properties: review of the lattice dynamics theoretical foundation

Reports on Progress in Physics
Martin T Dove, Hong Fang

Abstract

Negative thermal expansion (NTE) is the phenomenon in which materials shrink rather than expand on heating. Although NTE had been previously observed in a few simple materials at low temperature, it was the realisation in 1996 that some materials have NTE over very wide ranges of temperature that kick-started current interest in this phenomenon. Now, nearly two decades later, a number of families of ceramic NTE materials have been identified. Increasingly quantitative studies focus on the mechanism of NTE, through techniques such as high-pressure diffraction, local structure probes, inelastic neutron scattering and atomistic simulation. In this paper we review our understanding of vibrational mechanisms of NTE for a range of materials. We identify a number of different cases, some of which involve a small number of phonons that can be described as involving rotations of rigid polyhedral groups of atoms, others where there are large bands of phonons involved, and some where the transverse acoustic modes provide the main contribution to NTE. In a few cases the elasticity of NTE materials has been studied under pressure, identifying an elastic softening under pressure. We propose that this property, called pressure-induced softeni...Continue Reading

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