On the underestimated influence of synthetic conditions in solid ionic conductors
The development of high-performance inorganic solid electrolytes is central to achieving high-energy- density solid-state batteries. Whereas these solid-state materials are often prepared via classic solid-state syntheses, recent efforts in the community have shown that mechanochemical reactions, solution syntheses, microwave syntheses, and various post-synthetic heat treatment routines can drastically affect the structure and microstructure, and with it, the transport properties of the materials. On the one hand, these are important considerations for the upscaling of a materials processing route for industrial applications and industrial production. On the other hand, it shows that the influence of the different syntheses on the materials' properties is neither well understood fundamentally nor broadly internalized well. Here we aim to review the recent efforts on understanding the influence of the synthetic procedure on the synthesis – (micro)structure – transport correlations in superionic conductors. Our aim is to provide the field of solid-state research a direction for future efforts to better understand current materials properties based on synthetic routes, rather than having an overly simplistic idea of any given composition having an intrinsic conductivity. We hope this review will shed light on the underestimated influence of synthesis on the transport properties of solid electrolytes toward the design of syntheses of future solid electrolytes and help guide industrial efforts of known materials.