Chemical pressure in functional materials
Chemical pressure, a strange but familiar concept, is a lattice internal force caused by lattice strain with chemical modifications and arouses great interest due to its diversity and efficiency to synthesize new compounds and tune functional materials. Different from physical pressure loaded by an external force that is positive, chemical pressure can be either positive or negative (contract a lattice or expand it), often through flexible and mild chemical synthesis strategies, which are particularly important as a degree of freedom to manipulate material behaviors. In this tutorial review, we summarize the features of chemical pressure as a methodology and demonstrate its role in synthesizing and discovering some typical magnetically, electrically, and thermally responsive functional materials. The measure of chemical pressure using experimental lattice strain and elastic modulus was proposed, which can be used for quantitative descriptions of the correlation between lattice distortion and properties. From a lattice strain point of view, we classify chemical pressure into different categories: (i) chemical substitution, (ii) chemical intercalation/de-intercalation, (iii) size effect, and (iv) interface constraint, etc. Chemical pressure affects chemical bonding and rationalizes the crystal structure by modifying the electronic structure of solids, regulating the lattice symmetry, local structure, phonon structure effects etc., emerging as a general and effective method for synthesizing new compounds and tuning functional materials.