Muon studies of Li+ diffusion in LiFePO4 nanoparticles of different polymorphs†
The lithium diffusion in nanostructured olivine LiFePO4 has been investigated for the first time using muon spectroscopy (μSR). A microwave-assisted approach has been employed for nanoparticle preparation, where the choice of solvent is shown to play an important role in determining particle morphology and crystal chemistry. Two phases have been obtained: Pnma LiFePO4 and the high pressure Cmcm phase. The Li+ diffusion behaviour is strikingly different in both phases, with DLi of 6.25 × 10−10 cm2 s−1 obtained for Pnma LiFePO4 in good agreement with measurements of bulk materials. In contrast, Li+ diffusion is impeded with the addition of the high pressure Cmcm phase, with a lower DLi of 3.96 × 10−10 cm2 s−1 noted. We have demonstrated an efficient microwave route to nanoparticle synthesis of positive electrode materials and we have also shown μSR measurements to be a powerful probe of Li+ diffusion behaviour in nanoparticles.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Emerging Investigators