Lithium Conductivity and Meyer-Neldel Rule in Li3PO4-Li3VO4-Li4GeO4 Lithium Superionic Conductors

S Muy and JC Bachman and HH Chang and L Giordano and F Maglia and S Lupart and P Lamp and WG Zeier and Y Shao-Horn, CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS, 30, 5573-5582 (2018).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.8b01504

The ionic conductivity and activation energy of lithium in the Li3PO4-Li3VO4-Li4GeO4 system was systematically investigated. The sharp decrease in activation energy upon Ge substitution in Li3PO4 and Li3VO4 was attributed to the reduction in the defect formation energy while the variation in activation energy upon increasing Ge content was rationalized in term of the inductive effect. We also found a correlation between the pre-exponential factors and the activation energies in agreement with the well-known Meyer-Neldel rule. The series of compound with and without partial lithium occupancy were shown to fall into two distinct lines. The slope of the line was found to be related to the inverse of the energy scale associated with phonons in the system, which agrees with the multiexcitation entropy theory. The intercept of the line was found to be related to the Gibbs free energy of defect formation. Compiled data of pre-exponential factor and activation energy for commonly studied lithium-ion conductors shows that this correlation is very general, implying an unfavorable trade-off between high pre-exponential factor and low activation energy needed to achieve high ionic conductivity. Understanding the circumstances under which this correlation can be violated might provide a new opportunity to further increase the ionic conductivity in lithium-ion conductors.

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