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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Although multiple oxide-based solid electrolyte materials with intrinsically high ionic conductivities have emerged, practical processing and synthesis routes introduce grain boundaries and other interfaces that can perturb primary conduction channels. To directly probe these effects, we demonstrate an efficient and general mesoscopic computational method capable of predicting effective ionic conductivity through a complex polycrystalline oxide-based solid electrolyte microstructure without relying on simplified equivalent circuit description. We parameterize the framework for Li7-xLa3Zr2O12(LLZO) garnet solid electrolyte by combining synthetic microstructures from phase-field simulations with diffusivities from molecular dynamics simulations of ordered and disordered systems. Systematically designed simulations reveal an interdependence between atomistic and mesoscopic microstructural impacts on the effective ionic conductivity of polycrystalline LLZO, quantified by newly defined metrics that characterize the complex ionic transport mechanism. Our results provide fundamental understanding of the physical origins of the reported variability in ionic conductivities based on an extensive analysis of literature data, while simultaneously outlining practical design guidance for achieving desired ionic transport properties based on conditions for which sensitivity to microstructural features is highest. Additional implications of our results are discussed, including a possible connection between ion conduction behavior and dendrite formation.

  3. Lithium-rich oxychloride antiperovskites are promising solid electrolytes for enabling next-generation batteries. Here, we report a comprehensive study varying Li + concentrations in Li 3 OCl using ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. The simulations accurately capture the complex interactions between Li + vacancies ( V Li ′ ), the dominant mobile species in Li 3 OCl . The V Li ′ polarize and distort the host lattice, inducing additional non-vacancy-mediated diffusion mechanisms and correlated diffusion events that reduce the activation energy barrier at concentrations as low as 1.5% V Li ′ . Our analyses of discretized diffusion events in both space and time illustrate the critical interplay between correlated dynamics, polarization and local distortion in promoting ionic conductivity in Li 3 OCl . This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue ‘Understanding fast-ion conduction in solid electrolytes’.
  4. Superionic solid electrolytes have widespread use in energy devices, but the fundamental motivations for fast ion conduction are often elusive. In this Perspective, we draw upon atomistic simulations of a wide range of superionic conductors to illustrate some ways frustration can lower diffusion cation barriers in solids. Based on our studies of halides, oxides, sulfides and hydroborates and a survey of published reports, we classify three types of frustration that create competition between different local atomic preferences, thereby flattening the diffusive energy landscape. These include chemical frustration, which derives from competing factors in the anion–cation interaction; structural frustration, which arises from lattice arrangements that induce site distortion or prevent cation ordering; and dynamical frustration, which is associated with temporary fluctuations in the energy landscape due to anion reorientation or cation reconfiguration. For each class of frustration, we provide detailed simulation analyses of various materials to show how ion mobility is facilitated, resulting in stabilizing factors that are both entropic and enthalpic in origin. We propose the use of these categories as a general construct for classifying frustration in superionic conductors and discuss implications for future development of suitable descriptors and improvement strategies. This article is part of the Theo Murphymore »meeting issue ‘Understanding fast-ion conduction in solid electrolytes’.« less