On the Discrepancy between Local and Average Structure in the Fast Na+ Ionic Conductor Na2.9Sb0.9W0.1S4

Oliver Maus, Matthias T. Agne, Till Fuchs, Paul S. Till, Björn Wankmiller, Josef Maximilian Gerdes, Rituraj Sharma, Michael Heere, Niina Jalarvo, Omer Yaffe, Michael Ryan Hansen, Wolfgang G. Zeier

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5 Scopus citations


Aliovalent substitution is a common strategy to improve the ionic conductivity of solid electrolytes for solid-state batteries. The substitution of SbS43- by WS42- in Na2.9Sb0.9W0.1S4 leads to a very high ionic conductivity of 41 mS cm-1 at room temperature. While pristine Na3SbS4 crystallizes in a tetragonal structure, the substituted Na2.9Sb0.9W0.1S4 crystallizes in a cubic phase at room temperature based on its X-ray diffractogram. Here, we show by performing pair distribution function analyses and static single-pulse 121Sb NMR experiments that the short-range order of Na2.9Sb0.9W0.1S4 remains tetragonal despite the change in the Bragg diffraction pattern. Temperature-dependent Raman spectroscopy revealed that changed lattice dynamics due to the increased disorder in the Na+ substructure leads to dynamic sampling causing the discrepancy in local and average structure. While showing no differences in the local structure, compared to pristine Na3SbS4, quasi-elastic neutron scattering and solid-state 23Na nuclear magnetic resonance measurements revealed drastically improved Na+ diffusivity and decreased activation energies for Na2.9Sb0.9W0.1S4. The obtained diffusion coefficients are in very good agreement with theoretical values and long-range transport measured by impedance spectroscopy. This work demonstrates the importance of studying the local structure of ionic conductors to fully understand their transport mechanisms, a prerequisite for the development of faster ionic conductors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7147-7158
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number13
StatePublished - 5 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

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