Materials with Negative Compressibilities in One or More Dimensions

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Science  06 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5356, pp. 1522-1524
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5356.1522

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Rare crystal phases that expand in one or more dimensions when hydrostatically compressed are identified and shown to have negative Poisson's ratios. Some of these crystals (i) decrease volume and expand in two dimensions when stretched in a particular direction and (ii) increase surface area when hydrostatically compressed. Possible mechanisms for achieving such negative linear and area compressibilities are described for single crystals and composites, and sensor applications are proposed. Materials with these properties may be used to fabricate porous solids that either expand in all directions when hydrostatically compressed with a penetrating fluid or behave as if they are incompressible.

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