Study on the structural phase transitions in NaSICON-type compounds using Ag3Sc2(PO4)3as a model system

Günther J. Redhammer*, Gerold Tippelt, Quirin Stahl, Artur Benisek, Daniel Rettenwander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


NaSICON (Na Super-Ionic CONducting) structured materials are among the most promising solid electrolytes for Li-ion batteries and 'beyond Li-ion' batteries (e.g. Na and K) due to their superior ionic conductivities. Although this material has been well known for decades, its exact phase behaviour is still poorly understood. Herein, a starting material of Na3Sc2(PO4)3 single crystals is used, grown by flux methodology, where Na is subsequently chemically replaced by Ag, in order to take advantage of the higher scattering contrast of Ag. It is found that the NaSICON-type compound shows two phase transitions from a low-temperature monoclinic α-phase to a monoclinic β-phase at about 180 K and to a rhombohedral γ-phase at about 290 K. The framework of [Sc2(PO4)3]3- is rigid and does not change significantly with temperature and change of symmetry. The main driving force for the phase transitions is related to order-disorder phenomena of the conducting cations. The sensitivity of the phase behaviour on the ordering of these ions suggests that small compositional changes can have a great impact on the phase behaviour and, hence, on the ionic conductivity of NaSICON-structured materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-22
Number of pages13
JournalActa Crystallographica Section B: Structural Science, Crystal Engineering and Materials
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • AgSc(PO)
  • Ion conductivity
  • NaSICON-type compound
  • Order-disorder
  • Scandium
  • Structural phase transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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