Negative Poisson's ratios as a common feature of cubic metals

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Abstract

Poisson's ratio is, for specified directions, the ratio of a lateral contraction to the longitudinal extension during the stretching of a material.Although a negative Poisson's ratio (that is, a lateral extension in response to stretching) is not forbidden by thermodynamics, this property is generally believed to be rare in crystalline solids [1]. In contrast to this belief, 69% of the cubic elemental metals have a negative Poisson's ratio when stretched along the [110] direction. For these metals, we find that correlations exist between the work function and the extremal values of Poisson's ratio for this stretch direction, which we explain using a simple electron-gas model. Moreover, these negative Poisson's ratios permit the existence, in the orthogonal lateral direction, of positive Poisson's ratios up to the stability limit of 2 for cubic crystals. Such metals having negative Poisson's ratios may find application as electrodes that amplify the response of piezo-electric sensors.

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