Ion dynamics in a new class of materials: Nanoglassy lithium alumosilicates

B. Stanje, P. Bottke, S. Breuer, I. Hanzu, P. Heitjans, M. Wilkening

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In many cases nanocrystalline materials, prepared through high-energy ball milling, reveal enhanced ion dynamics when compared to the situation in the coarse-grained analogues. This effect, which has particularly been seen for lithium alumosilicates, has been ascribed to structural disorder, i.e., the introduction of defect sites during mechanical treatment. Much less is, however, known about ion transport in nanostructured amorphous materials, e.g., nanoglassy compounds, which are regarded as a new class of functional materials. Following earlier studies on nanoglassy lithium alumosilicates and borates, here we studied ion dynamics in nanoglassy petalite LiAlSi4O10. While conductivity spectroscopy unequivocally reveals that long-range ion dynamics in nanoglassy LiAlSi4O10 decreases upon milling, local dynamics, sensed by 7Li nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spin-lattice relaxation, points to enhanced Li ion mobility compared to the non-treated glass. Most likely, as for nanocrystalline ceramics also for nanoglassy samples a heterogeneous structure, consisting of bulk and interfacial regions, is formed. For LiAlSi4O10 these interfacial regions, characterized by a higher degree of free volume, might act as hosts for spins experiencing fast longitudinal NMR relaxation. Obviously, these regions do not form a through-going network, which would allow the ions to move over long distances as quickly as in the unmilled glass.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035202
JournalMaterials Research Express
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • ceramics
  • conductivity
  • ionic diffusion
  • nanostructured materials
  • NMR
  • spin-lattice relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys

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