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Crystal Chemistry and Electronic Structure of the Metallic Lithium Ion Conductor, LiNiN

Z Stoeva, B Jäger, R Gomez, S Messaoudi, M Ben Yahia, X Rocquefelte, G B Hix, W Wolf, J J Titman, R Gautier, P Herzig, D H Gregory
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 129, 1912 (2007)

The layered ternary nitride LiNiN shows an interesting combination of fast Li+ ion diffusion and metallic behavior, properties which suggest potential applications as an electrode material in lithium ion batteries. A detailed investigation of the structure and properties of LiNiN using powder neutron diffraction, ab initio calculations, SQUID magnetometry, and solid-state NMR is described. Variable-temperature neutron diffraction demonstrates that LiNiN forms a variant of the parent Li₃N structure in which Li+ ion vacancies are ordered within the [LiN] planes and with Ni exclusively occupying interlayer positions (at 280 K: hexagonal space group P-6m2, a=3.74304(5) Å, c=3.52542(6) Å, Z=1). Calculations suggest that LiNiN is a one-dimensional metal, as a result of the mixed π- and σ-bonding interactions between Ni and N along the c-axis. Solid-state 7Li NMR spectra are consistent with both fast Li+ motion and metallic behavior.

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