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Adjustable Zero Thermal Expansion in Antiperovskite Manganese Nitride



Xiaoyan Song, Zhonghua Sun, Qingzhen Huang, Markus Rettenmayr, Xuemei Liu, Martin Seyring, Guannan Li, Guanghui Rao, Fuxing Yin


The zero thermal expansion (ZTE) behavior particularly with a wide operating temperature range in a single material is extremely uncommon. With the clear experimental evidence we report a universal mechanism that controls the ZTE behavior of the antiperovskite manganese nitride. We show that modulating the Mn occupancy at its lattice sites leads to a drastic change in the thermal expansion behavior. The material in its pure form can feature positive thermal expansion (PTE), negatie thermal expansion (NTE) or ZTE behavior over certain temperature ranges, depending on the degree and rate of teh magnetic ordering, which are both controlled by the Mn site occupancy. The Mn site occupancy can be reduced effectively by nanostructuring the material, generating a form of "giant" ZTE in a temperature range of Δ}Tgreater than>200k. The giant ZTE is a consequence of the compensation of thermal contraction (with temperature decrease) by expansion induced by magnetic ordering, which progresses gradually over a wide temperature range due to the lower Mn site occupancy. This universal mechanism permits tailoring the thermal expansion properties of a large variety of materials that feature magneto-elastic behavior.
Advanced Materials


Zero thermal expansion, Antiperovskite Manganese Nitride, neutron diffraction


Song, X. , Sun, Z. , Huang, Q. , Rettenmayr, M. , Liu, X. , Seyring, M. , Li, G. , Rao, G. and Yin, F. (2011), Adjustable Zero Thermal Expansion in Antiperovskite Manganese Nitride, Advanced Materials, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created October 24, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021