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Origin and Absence of Giant Negative Thermal Expansion in Reduced and Oxidized Ca2RuO4
Chemistry of Materials  (IF9.811),  Pub Date : 2021-09-24, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c01619
Lei Hu, Yingcai Zhu, Yue-Wen Fang, Masayuki Fukuda, Takumi Nishikubo, Zhao Pan, Yuki Sakai, Shogo Kawaguchi, Hena Das, Akihiko Machida, Tetsu Watanuki, Shigeo Mori, Koshi Takenaka, Masaki Azuma

Negative thermal expansion (NTE) is an intriguing physical phenomenon. Layered Ca2RuO4 exhibits giant NTE over a wide temperature range from 200 to 400 K, which makes it attractive for fundamental research and industrial applications. However, a clear physical understanding is lacking for the appearance of NTE over such a wide temperature range and the oxygen-content-dependent switch from NTE to positive thermal expansion (PTE). Herein, we present insights into the average crystal structure, local structure, and electronic and orbital states of Ca2RuO4. Surprisingly, a previously overlooked monoclinic distortion is identified by electron diffraction and synchrotron X-ray diffraction (SXRD). X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) and synchrotron X-ray pair distribution function (PDF) analyses show large local distortions in monoclinic Ca2RuO4. Moreover, local stress on Ru cations is confirmed by the existence of over-bonding states, which relaxes along with NTE. Theoretical calculations indicate that dxy orbital ordering and disordering in the monoclinic structure are the origins of NTE. Moreover, interstitial oxygen plays a critical role in stabilizing elongated RuO6 and locally breaks the dxy orbital ordering, facilitating the occurrence of PTE. This work elucidates the electronic and orbital states in NTE materials with defective lattices and provides a different route to designing unconventional NTE materials.