Lithium diffusion pathways in 3R-LixTiS2: A combined neutron diffraction and computational study

Dennis Wiedemann, Mazharul M. Islam, Suliman Nakhal, Anatoliy Senyshyn, Thomas Bredow, Martin Lerch

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15 Citations (SciVal)


Layered lithium transition-metal sulfides have long been discussed as early electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries. However, fundamental knowledge of lithium-ion migration in these solids is still lacking. In this study, we report on the diffusion dynamics in lithium-deficient high-temperature polymorphs of lithium titanium sulfides (3R-LixTiS2; x = 0.7, 0.9) as analyzed using powder neutron diffractometry and density functional theory (DFT) climbing-image nudged-elastic-band (cNEB) calculations. Two classes of probable migration pathways have been identified from the scattering-length density distributions (filtered using the maximum-entropy method [MEM]) and the probability density functions (PDFs, modeled from anharmonic Debye-Waller factors): direct diffusion in the (001) plane as the major mechanism and indirect diffusion through adjacent tetrahedral voids as a minor mechanism. Calculated activation barriers agree well with one-particle potentials (OPPs) derived from measurements for Li0.7TiS2 (0.484[14] and 0.88[4] eV) but deviate for Li0.9TiS2. The discrepancy at low defect concentration is attributed to the failure of the OPP derivation and the different nature of the methods (space-time averaged vs individual-ion perspective). This work elucidates the pathways of lithium-ion diffusion in 3R-LixTiS2 and points out pitfalls in established experimental/computational methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11370-11381
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number21
Early online date15 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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