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zinc dicyanoaurate
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The atomic structure of a zinc-based material has a surprising amount in common with the tentacles of an octopus, Oxford University researchers have found.
When pressure is applied all around them most materials shrink. But materials exhibiting a rare property known as negative linear compressibility (NLC) are different.
Andrew and his Oxford colleagues led an international team studying the unusual thermal properties of the material zinc dicyanoaurate. What they did not expect to find was that its honeycomb-like structure gave it uniquely powerful NLC behaviour, far beyond the kind of contraction and expansion exhibited by ordinary engineering materials.

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