Tunable thermal expansion in framework materials through redox intercalation

Jun Chen, Qilong Gao, Andrea Sanson, Xingxing Jiang, Qingzhen Huang, Alberto Carnera, Clara Guglieri Rodriguez, Luca Olivi, Lei Wang, Lei Hu, Kun Lin, Yang Ren, Zheshuai Lin, Cong Wang, Lin Gu, Jinxia Deng, J. Paul Attfield, Xianran Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermal expansion properties of solids are of fundamental interest and control of thermal expansion is important for practical applications but can be difficult to achieve. Many framework-type materials show negative thermal expansion when internal cages are empty but positive thermal expansion when additional atoms or molecules fill internal voids present. Here we show that redox intercalation offers an effective method to control thermal expansion from positive to zero to negative by insertion of Li ions into the simple negative thermal expansion framework material ScF3, doped with 10% Fe to enable reduction. The small concentration of intercalated Li ions has a strong influence through steric hindrance of transverse fluoride ion vibrations, which directly controls the thermal expansion. Redox intercalation of guest ions is thus likely to be a general and effective method for controlling thermal expansion in the many known framework materials with phonon-driven negative thermal expansion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14441
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Early online date9 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2017


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  • FE
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