Thermal transport crossover from crystalline to partial-crystalline partial-liquid state

YG Zhou and SY Xiong and XL Zhang and S Volz and M Hu, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 9, 4712 (2018).

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07027-x

Phase-change materials (crystalline at low temperatures and partial- crystalline partial-liquid state at high temperatures) are widely used as thermoelectric converters and battery electrodes. Here, we report the underlying mechanisms driving the thermal transport of the liquid component, and the thermal conductivity contributions from phonons, vibrations with extremely short mean free path, liquid and lattice- liquid interactions in phase-changed Li2S. In the crystalline state (T <= 1000 K), the temperature dependent thermal conductivity manifests two different behaviors, i.e., a typical trend of 1/T below 800 K and an even faster decrease between 800 and 1000 K. For the partial-crystalline partial-liquid Li2S when T >= 1100 K, the contributions of liquid and lattice-liquid interactions increase significantly due to the fluidization of Li ions, and the vibrations with extremely short mean free path, presumably assimilated to diffusons, can contribute up to 46% of the total thermal conductivity at T = 1300 K.

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