Microstructural Aspects of Optimized Ion-Conduction in Solids
Conditions for optimized ion conduction can be understood from theimodynamic, kinetic and structural considerations. The optimized conduction is related to intrinsic structural features rather than to defects caused by doping of the material. A low activation energy for the diffusion can be obtained in special configurations where the usual energy barrier in the transition state is lacking. High conductivity values are obtained when all — or at least a large fraction — of the ions of a certain species are mobile. Another condition for mass transport is that the diffusion paths are continuous, for example channels. Important differences occur due to the different dimensionality or branching of the channels. The function of rigid framework structures is to maintain the void space necessary for diffusion. In other materials the vibrations of non-diffusing parts of the lattice might interfere with the ion transport.
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