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Title: Probing lithium mobility at a solid electrolyte surface

Solid-state electrolytes overcome many challenges of present-day lithium ion batteries, such as safety hazards and dendrite formation1,2. However, detailed understanding of the involved lithium dynamics is missing due to a lack of in operando measurements with chemical and interfacial specificity. Here we investigate a prototypical solid-state electrolyte using linear and nonlinear extreme-ultraviolet spectroscopies. Leveraging the surface sensitivity of extreme-ultraviolet-second-harmonic-generation spectroscopy, we obtained a direct spectral signature of surface lithium ions, showing a distinct blueshift relative to bulk absorption spectra. First-principles simulations attributed the shift to transitions from the lithium 1 sstate to hybridized Li-s/Ti-dorbitals at the surface. Our calculations further suggest a reduction in lithium interfacial mobility due to suppressed low-frequency rattling modes, which is the fundamental origin of the large interfacial resistance in this material. Our findings pave the way for new optimization strategies to develop these electrochemical devices via interfacial engineering of lithium ions.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Materials
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 848-852
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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