Effect of relaxations on the conductivity of La1/2+1/2xLi1/2-1/2 xTi1-xAlxO3 fast ion conductors

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Perovskite-type solid-state electrolytes, Li3xLa2/3–xTiO3 (LLTO), are considered among the most promising candidates for the development of all-solid-state batteries based on lithium metal. Their high bulk ionic conductivity can be modulated by substituting part of the atoms hosted in the A- or B-site of the LLTO structure. In this work, we investigate the crystal structure and the long-range charge migration processes characterizing a family of perovskites with the general formula La1/2+1/2xLi1/2–1/2xTi1–xAlxO3 (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.6), in which the charge balance and the nominal A-site vacancies (nA = 0) are preserved. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) investigations reveal the presence of a very complex nanostructure constituted by a mixture of two different ordered nanoregions of tetragonal P4/mmm and rhombohedral R3̅c symmetries. Broadband electrical spectroscopy studies confirm the presence of different crystalline domains and demonstrate that the structural fluctuations of the BO6 octahedra require to be intra- and intercell coupled, to enable the long-range diffusion of the lithium cation, in a similar way to the segmental mode that takes place in polymer-ion conductors. These hypotheses are corroborated by density functional theory (DFT) calculations and molecular dynamic simulations.
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Vezzù, K., García-González, E., Pagot, G., Urones-Garrote, E., Sotomayor, M. E., Varez, A., & Di Noto, V. (2022). Effect of Relaxations on the Conductivity of La1/2+1/2xLi1/2–1/2xTi1–xAlxO3 Fast Ion Conductors. Chemistry of Materials, 34(12), 5484-5499.