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Native Defects in Li10GeP2S12 and Their Effect on Lithium Diffusion

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journal contribution
posted on 03.07.2018, 00:00 by Kyungbae Oh, Donghee Chang, Byungju Lee, Do-Hoon Kim, Gabin Yoon, Inchul Park, Byunghoon Kim, Kisuk Kang
Defects in crystals alter the intrinsic nature of pristine materials including their electronic/crystalline structure and charge-transport characteristics. The ionic transport properties of solid-state ionic conductors, in particular, are profoundly affected by their defect structure. Nevertheless, a fundamental understanding of the defect structure of one of the most extensively studied lithium superionic conductors, Li10GeP2S12, remains elusive because of the complexity of the structure; the effects of defects on lithium diffusion and the potential to control defects by varying synthetic conditions also remain unknown. Herein, we report, for the first time, a comprehensive first-principles study on native defects in Li10GeP2S12 and their effect on lithium diffusion. We provide the complete defect profile of Li10GeP2S12 and identify major defects that are easily formed regardless of the chemical environment while the presence of path-blocking defects is sensitively dependent on the synthetic conditions. Moreover, using ab initio molecular dynamics simulation, it is demonstrated that the major defects in Li10GeP2S12 significantly alter the diffusion process. The defects generally facilitate lithium diffusion in Li10GeP2S12 by enhancing the charge carrier concentration and flattening the site energy landscape. This work delivers a comprehensive picture of the defect chemistry and structural insights for fast lithium diffusion of Li10GeP2S12-type conductors.