This review contains recent developments and new insights in the research on inorganic, crystalline compounds with two different chalcogenide ions (bichalcogenides). Anion ordering is used as a parameter to form structural dimensionalities as well as local- and global-electric polarities. The reason for the electric polarity is that, in the heterogeneous bichalcogenide lattice, the individual bond-lengths between cations and anions are different from those in a homogeneous anion lattice. It is also shown that heteroleptic tetrahedral and octahedral coordinations offer a multitude of new crystal fields and coordinations for involved cations. This coordination diversity in bichalcogenides seems to be one way to surpass electro-chemical redox potentials: three oxidation states of a single transition metal can be stabilized, e.g., Ba15
. A new type of disproportionation, related to coordination, is presented and results from chemical pressure on the bichalcogenide lattices of (La,Ce)CrS2
O, transforming doubly [CrS3/3
(5+1) into singly [CrS4/2
(6+0) and [CrS4/3
(4+2) coordinations. Also, magnetic anisotropy is imposed by the anion ordering in BaCoSO, where magnetic interactions via S or O occur along two different crystallographic directions. Further, the potential of the anion lattice is discussed as a parameter for future materials design.
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