Poisson's ratio and modern materials

Nat Mater. 2011 Oct 24;10(11):823-37. doi: 10.1038/nmat3134.


In comparing a material's resistance to distort under mechanical load rather than to alter in volume, Poisson's ratio offers the fundamental metric by which to compare the performance of any material when strained elastically. The numerical limits are set by ½ and -1, between which all stable isotropic materials are found. With new experiments, computational methods and routes to materials synthesis, we assess what Poisson's ratio means in the contemporary understanding of the mechanical characteristics of modern materials. Central to these recent advances, we emphasize the significance of relationships outside the elastic limit between Poisson's ratio and densification, connectivity, ductility and the toughness of solids; and their association with the dynamic properties of the liquids from which they were condensed and into which they melt.