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Lattice dynamics and negative thermal expansion in the framework compound ZnNi(CN)4 with 2-D and 3-D local environments

d'Ambrumenil, S., Zbiri, M., Chippindale, A. M., Hibble, S. J., Marelli, E. and Hannon, A. C. (2019) Lattice dynamics and negative thermal expansion in the framework compound ZnNi(CN)4 with 2-D and 3-D local environments. Physical Review B, 99 (2-1). 024309. ISSN 1098-0121

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.99.024309


ZnNi(CN)4 is a 3-D framework material consisting of two interpenetrating PtS-type networks in which tetrahedral [ZnN4] units are linked by square-planar [NiC4] units. Both the parent compounds, cubic Zn(CN)2 and layered Ni(CN)2, are known to exhibit 3-D and 2-D negative thermal expansion (NTE), respectively. Temperature-dependent inelastic neutron scattering (INS) measurements were performed on a powdered sample of ZnNi(CN)4 to probe phonon dynamics. The measurements were underpinned by ab-initio lattice dynamical calculations. Good agreement was found between the measured and calculated generalized phonon density-of-states, validating our theoretical model and indicating that it is a good representation of the dynamics of the structural units. The calculated linear thermal expansion coefficients are αa = -21.2 × 10-6 K-1 and αc = +14.6 × 10-6 K-1, leading to an overall volume expansion coefficient, αV of -26.95 × 10-6 K-1, pointing towards pronounced NTE behaviour. Analysis of the derived mode-Grüneisen parameters shows that the optic modes around 12 and 40 meV make a significant contribution to the NTE. These modes involve localised rotational motions of the [NiC4] and/or [ZnN4] rigid units, echoing what has previously been observed in Zn(CN)2 and Ni(CN)2. However, in ZnNi(CN)4, modes below 10 meV have the most negative Grüneisen parameters. Analysis of their eigenvectors reveals that a large transverse motion of the Ni atom in the direction perpendicular to its square-planar environment induces a distortion of the units. This mode is a consequence of the Ni atom being constrained only in two dimensions within a 3-D framework. Hence, although rigid-unit modes account for some of the NTE-driving phonons, the added degree of freedom compared with Zn(CN)2 results in modes with twisting motions, capable of inducing greater NTE.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF)
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:81778
Publisher:American Physical Society


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