Structural disorder in lithium lanthanum titanate: The basis of superionic conduction

K. Ohara, Y. Kawakita, L. Pusztai, L. Temleitner, S. Kohara, N. Inoue, S. Takeda

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High-energy x-ray and neutron diffraction measurements on polycrystalline La2/3-xLi3xTiO3 (0.075 < x < 0.165) were performed. The total scattering structure factors were analysed by the reverse Monte Carlo (RMC) modelling technique, resulting in three-dimensional particle configurations. These configurations were then used for revealing the distributions of La and Li ions and to understand the relationship between these distributions and ionic conduction. An alternating arrangement of La-rich and La-poor layers along the c-axis was found in the x = 0.075 composition. Intriguingly, this arrangement has gradually disappeared in samples with higher Li concentration. Furthermore, RMC models exhibit disordered distributions of Li ions, situated mainly on the La-rich layer, and there is a significant probability of Li ions occupying the interstitial sites (T site) between the O-3 triangle plane of the TiO6 octahedron and an La ion or its vacancy site. It was also found on the basis of the RMC models that the bond valence sum (BVS) for Li ions behaves differently on La-rich and La-poor layers at low Li concentration compositions, but they are similar at high Li concentration compositions. This is consistent with the behaviour of the alternating arrangement of La-rich and La-poor layers. It is also suggested that the Li ions around the bottleneck at (1/2, 0, 0) (bottom layer) can jump to an adjacent bottleneck at (0, 1/2, 0) through the T site and not only Li ions in the La-poor layers but also Li ions in the La-rich layers contribute to the bottleneck-bottleneck Li conduction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number404203
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - Oct 13 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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