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I admit this is a very broad question, but I am looking for general properties of [finitely generated free]-by-[infinite cyclic] groups. More precisely, what are some properties that the groups $\{F_n\rtimes_\phi\mathbb{Z}\ |\ n\geq 2,\ \phi\in Aut(F_n)\}$ have in common?

These are some properties that not all of those groups have (even though some do):

  1. They are not all hyperbolic.
  2. They are not all $\mathrm{CAT}(0)$ groups.

These are some properties that the groups do have in common:

  1. They all have solvable conjugacy problem.
  2. They all satisfy a quadratic isoperimetric inequality.

Furthermore for $n=2$, all groups of the form $F_2\rtimes_\phi\mathbb{Z}$ are strongly poly-free. This will not be true in higher rank however, as for $n\geq 3$ not all automorphisms of $F_n$ are geometric.

I understand that the structure of $F_n\rtimes_\phi\mathbb{Z}$ highly depends on $\phi$, so fully understanding all common properties probably boils down to fully understanding $Aut(F_n)$.

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If you are interested in analytic properties: they all have the Haagerup property. –  Alain Valette Nov 14 '12 at 22:40
    
As this question seems to be asking for a list, perhaps it should be community wiki. –  HJRW Nov 15 '12 at 17:15
    
I agree with HW, why don't you CW the question? –  Yves Cornulier Nov 15 '12 at 22:08
    
Here's a related question (which I'm sure you've seen): mathoverflow.net/questions/53973/… –  Peter Samuelson Nov 15 '12 at 22:58
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3 Answers

Well, you can turn any theorem about these groups into a property. For instance: $F_n \rtimes_\phi \mathbb{Z}$ satisfies the property ``hyperbolic if and only if no $\mathbb{Z}\oplus\mathbb{Z}$ subgroups''. That's Brinkmann's theorem.

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Feighn and Handel proved that they're all coherent in 'Mapping tori of free group automorphisms are coherent', Ann. of Math. (2) 149 (1999), no. 3, 1061--1077.

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They all have cohomological dimension $2$.

The upper bound follows easily from the Serre spectral sequence, the lower bound follows from the fact that groups of cohomological dimension $1$ are free groups. This last fact can be proved without using this big theorem by computing $H^*(G,\mathbf ZG)$ : it is concentrated in dimension 2 and is a free abelian group ... in particular your groups are duality groups (but rarely Poincaré duality groups).

Edit : sorry, I answered too quickly ... the group $H^2(G,\mathbf ZG)$ does not need to be a free abelian group. Thus your groups need not be duality groups.

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