Inorganic Chemistry

Insights into the rich polymorphism of the Na+ ion conductor Na3PS4 from the perspective of variable-temperature diffraction and spectroscopy


Solid electrolytes are crucial for next generation solid state batteries and Na3PS4 is one of the most promising Na+ conductors for such applications. In this contribution, we present a detailed investigation of the evolution in structure and dynamics of Na3PS4 under the effect of temperature in the range 30 < T < 600 °C through combined experimental-computational analysis. Although x ray Bragg diffraction experiments indicate a second order phase transition from the tetragonal ground state (α, P-421c) to the cubic polymorph (β, I-43m), pair distribution function analysis in real space and Raman spectroscopy indicate remnants of tetragonal character in the range 250 < T < 500 °C which we attribute to dynamic local tetragonal distortions. The first order phase transition to the mesophasic high temperature polymorph (γ, Fddd) is associated with a sharp volume increase and the onset of liquid like diffusive dynamics for sodium-cations (translative) and thiophosphate-polyanions (rotational) evident by inelastic neutron- and Raman- spectroscopies, as well as pair-distribution function and molecular dynamics. These results shed light on the rich polymorphism in Na3PS4 and are relevant for a host of high performance materials deriving from the Na3PS4 structural archetype.


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Supplementary material

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SI na3ps4 Tevolution v6