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  1. Abstract

    Additive manufacturing of solid-state batteries is advantageous for improving the power density by increasing the geometric complexity of battery components, such as electrodes and electrolytes. In the present study, bulk three-dimensional Li1+xAlxTi2−x(PO4)3(LATP) electrolyte samples were prepared using the laser powder bed fusion (L-PBF) additive manufacturing method. Li3PO4(LPO) was added to LATP to compensate for lithium vaporization during processing. Chemical compositions included 0, 1, 3, and 5 wt. % LPO. Resulting ionic conductivity values ranged from 1.4 × 10−6–6.4 × 10−8S cm−1, with the highest value for the sample with a chemical composition of 3 wt. % LPO. Microstructural features were carefully measured for each chemical composition and correlated with each other and with ionic conductivity. These features and their corresponding ranges include: porosity (ranging from 5% to 19%), crack density (0.09–0.15 mm mm−2), concentration of residual LPO (0%–16%), and concentration and Feret diameter of secondary phases, AlPO4 (11%–18%, 0.40–0.61µm) and TiO2 (9%–11%, 0.50–0.78). Correlations between the microstructural features and ionic conductivity ranged from −0.88 to 0.99. The strongest negative correlation was between crack density and ionic conductivity (−0.88), confirming the important role that processing defects play in limiting the performance of bulk solid-state electrolytes. The strongest positive correlation was between the concentration of AlPO4 and ionic conductivity (0.99), which is attributed to AlPO4 acting as a sintering aid and the role it plays in reducing the crack density. Our results indicate that additions of LPO can be used to balance competing microstructural features to design bulk three-dimensional LATP samples with improved ionic conductivity. As such, refinement of the chemical composition offers a promising approach to improving the processability and performance of functional ceramics prepared using binderless, laser-based additive manufacturing for solid-state battery applications.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    The rocksalt structured (Co,Cu,Mg,Ni,Zn)O entropy-stabilized oxide (ESO) exhibits a reversible phase transformation that leads to the formation of Cu-rich tenorite and Co-rich spinel secondary phases. Using atom probe tomography, kinetic analysis, and thermodynamic modeling, we uncover the nucleation and growth mechanisms governing the formation of these two secondary phases. We find that these phases do not nucleate directly, but rather they first form Cu-rich and Co-rich precursor phases, which nucleate in regions rich in Cu and cation vacancies, respectively. These precursor phases then grow through cation diffusion and exhibit a rocksalt-like crystal structure. The Cu-rich precursor phase subsequently transforms into the Cu-rich tenorite phase through a structural distortion-based transformation, while the Co-rich precursor phase transforms into the Co-rich spinel phase through a defect-mediated transformation. Further growth of the secondary phases is controlled by cation diffusion within the primary rocksalt phase, whose diffusion behavior resembles other common rocksalt oxides.

    Graphical abstract

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  4. Abstract The abrupt occurrence of twinning when Mg is deformed leads to a highly anisotropic response, making it too unreliable for structural use and too unpredictable for observation. Here, we describe an in-situ transmission electron microscopy experiment on Mg crystals with strategically designed geometries for visualization of a long-proposed but unverified twinning mechanism. Combining with atomistic simulations and topological analysis, we conclude that twin nucleation occurs through a pure-shuffle mechanism that requires prismatic-basal transformations. Also, we verified a crystal geometry dependent twin growth mechanism, that is the early-stage growth associated with instability of plasticity flow, which can be dominated either by slower movement of prismatic-basal boundary steps, or by faster glide-shuffle along the twinning plane. The fundamental understanding of twinning provides a pathway to understand deformation from a scientific standpoint and the microstructure design principles to engineer metals with enhanced behavior from a technological standpoint. 
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  5. Abstract High-entropy oxides (HEO) with entropic stabilization and compositional flexibility have great potential application in batteries and catalysis. In this work, HEO thin films were synthesized by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) from a rock-salt (Co 0.2 Ni 0.2 Cu 0.2 Mg 0.2 Zn 0.2 )O ceramic target. The films exhibited the target’s crystal structure, were chemically homogeneous, and possessed a three-dimensional (3D) island morphology with connected randomly shaped nanopores. The effects of varying PLD laser fluence on crystal structure and morphology were explored systematically. Increasing fluence facilitates film crystallization at low substrate temperature (300 °C) and increases film thickness (60–140 nm). The lateral size of columnar grains, islands (19 nm to 35 nm in average size), and nanopores (9.3 nm to 20 nm in average size) increased with increasing fluence (3.4 to 7.0 J/cm 2 ), explained by increased kinetic energy of adatoms and competition between deposition and diffusion. Additionally, increasing fluence reduces the number of undesirable droplets observed on the film surface. The nanoporous HEO films can potentially serve as electrochemical reaction interfaces with tunable surface area and excellent phase stability. Graphical abstract 
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