Correlation and the mechanism of lithium ion diffusion with the crystal structure of Li7La3Zr2O12 revealed by an internal friction technique
The correlation and transport mechanism of lithium ions with the crystal structure of a fast lithium ion conductor Li7La3Zr2O12 are mainly investigated by internal friction (IF) and AC impedance spectroscopy techniques. Compared with the poor conductivity of tetragonal Li7La3Zr2O12, the Al stabilized cubic phase exhibits a good ionic conductivity that can be up to 1.9 × 10−4 S cm−1 at room temperature, which can be ascribed to the disordered distribution of lithium ions in the cubic phase. A well-pronounced relaxation IF peak (labeled as peak PC) is observed in the cubic phase while a very weak IF peak (labeled as PT) is observed in the tetragonal phase, further evidencing the difference in lithium ion migration in the two phases. Peak PC can be decomposed into two sub-peaks with the activation energy and the pre-exponential factor of relaxation time being E1 = 0.41 eV and τ01 = 1.2 × 10−14 s for the lower temperature peak PC1 and E2 = 0.35 eV and τ02 = 1.9 × 10−15 s for the higher temperature PC2 peak, respectively. Based on the crystalline structure of a cubic garnet-type Li7La3Zr2O12 compound, an atomistic mechanism of lithium ion diffusion via vacancies is suggested, i.e. 48g(96h) ↔ 48g(96h) for peak PC1 and 48g(96h) ↔ 24d for peak PC2, respectively. The weak PT peak in the tetragonal phase is preliminarily interpreted as due to the short jump process among neighboring octahedral sites and vacant tetrahedral sites.