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Local Tetragonal Structure of the Cubic Superionic Conductor Na 3 PS 4

DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b00458 DOI Help

Authors: Thorben Krauskopf (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen) , Sean P. Culver (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen) , Wolfgang G. Zeier (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Inorganic Chemistry

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2018
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 17257

Abstract: The sodium superionic conductor Na3PS4 is known to crystallize in one of two different structural polymorphs at room temperature (i.e., cubic or tetragonal, depending on the synthetic conditions). Experimentally, the cubic structure is known to exhibit a higher ionic conductivity than the tetragonal structure, despite theoretical investigations suggesting that there should be no difference at all. Employing a combination of Rietveld and pair distribution function (PDF) analyses, as well as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, we investigate the open question of how the crystal structure influences the ionic transport in Na3PS4. Despite the average structures of Na3PS4 prepared via ball-milling and high-temperature routes being cubic and tetragonal, respectively, the structural analysis by PDF indicates that both compounds are best described by the structural motifs of the tetragonal polymorph on the local scale. Ultimately, the high ionic conductivity of Na3PS4 prepared by the ball-milling approach is confirmed to be independent of the crystal structure. This work demonstrates that even in ionic conductors differences can be observed between the average and local crystal structures, and it reasserts that the high ionic conductivity in Na3PS4 is not related to the crystal structure but rather differences in the defect concentration.

Subject Areas: Chemistry, Materials

Instruments: I15-1-X-ray Pair Distribution Function (XPDF)