Unravelling Ultraslow Lithium-Ion Diffusion in γ-LiAlO2: Experiments with Tracers, Neutrons, and Charge Carriers

Dennis Wiedemann, Suliman Nakhal, Johanna Rahn, Elena Witt, Mazharul M. Islam, Stefan Zander, Paul Heitjans, Harald Schmidt, Thomas Bredow, Martin Wilkening, Martin Lerch

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41 Citations (SciVal)


Lithium aluminum oxide (γ-LiAlO2) has been discussed and used for various applications, e.g., as electrode coating, membrane, or tritium breeder material. Although lithium-ion diffusion in this solid is essential for these purposes, it is still not sufficiently understood on the microscopic scale. Herein, we not only summarize and assess the available studies on diffusion in different crystalline forms of γ-LiAlO2, but also complement them with tracer-diffusion experiments on (001)- and conductivity spectroscopy on (100)-oriented single crystals, yielding activation energies of 1.20(5) and 1.12(1) eV, respectively. Scrutinous crystal-chemical considerations, Voronoi-Dirichlet partitioning, and Hirshfeld surface analysis are employed to identify possible diffusion pathways. The one-particle potential, as derived from high-temperature powder neutron diffraction data presented as well, reveals the major path to be strongly curved and to run between adjacent lithium positions with a migration barrier of 0.72(5) eV. This finding is substantiated by comparison with recently published computational results. For the first time, a complete model for lithium-ion diffusion in γ-LiAlO2, consistent with all available data, is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-924
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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