Ion Hopping and Constrained Li Diffusion Pathways in the Superionic State of Antifluorite Li2O
A Annamareddy and J Eapen, ENTROPY, 19, UNSP 227 (2017).
Li2O belongs to the family of antifluorites that show superionic behavior at high temperatures. While some of the superionic characteristics of Li2O are well-known, the mechanistic details of ionic conduction processes are somewhat nebulous. In this work, we first establish an onset of superionic conduction that is emblematic of a gradual disordering process among the Li ions at a characteristic temperature T-alpha (similar to 1000 K) using reported neutron diffraction data and atomistic simulations. In the superionic state, the Li ions are observed to portray dynamic disorder by hopping between the tetrahedral lattice sites. We then show that string-like ionic diffusion pathways are established among the Li ions in the superionic state. The diffusivity of these dynamical string-like structures, which have a finite lifetime, shows a remarkable correlation to the bulk diffusivity of the system.
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