Molecular Dynamics Modeling of the Structure and Na+-Ion Transport in Na2S + SiS2 Glassy Electrolytes

A Dive and C Benmore and M Wilding and SW Martin and S Beckman and S Banerjee, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 122, 7597-7608 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b04353

Solid-state sodium batteries, a relatively safe and potentially cost- effective energy-storage technology, have attracted increasing scientific attention recently for application in stationary grid-scale energy storage. Identifying solid electrolytes with high electrochemical stability and high Na+-ion conductivity at room temperature is critically important to enable high energy densities with enhanced rate capabilities. We evaluated sodium sulfide silicon sulfide, xNa(2)S + (1 - x)SiS2, glasses as potential glassy solid electrolytes (GSEs) using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We employed ab initio MD to determine ion conduction mechanisms, to calculate energy barriers for ion hops, and to correlate these to the local short-range structure of 0.50Na(2)S + 0.50SiS(2) glass. To simulate much larger systems for accurately calculating the ionic conductivity, we parameterized empirical Buckingham-type potential and performed classical MD simulations. After validating these calculations by comparing the structure obtained from MD to that from X-ray scattering data, we calculated the ionic conductivity of these glasses for the range of 0.33 <= x <= 0.67 compositions. The calculated ionic conductivities at room temperature were in the range of similar to 10(-5) S/cm for the x = 0.50 composition and increased significantly with sodium sulfide (x) content. These calculations provide theoretical insights into the role of Na2S content on the ionic conductivity of GSEs aiding in the selection of specific compositions to enhance the ionic conductivity.

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