Microwave Crystallization of Lithium Aluminum Germanium Phosphate Solid-State Electrolyte

Materials (Basel). 2016 Jun 23;9(7):506. doi: 10.3390/ma9070506.


Lithium aluminum germanium phosphate (LAGP) glass-ceramics are considered as promising solid-state electrolytes for Li-ion batteries. LAGP glass was prepared via the regular conventional melt-quenching method. Thermal, chemical analyses and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were performed to characterize the prepared glass. The crystallization of the prepared LAGP glass was done using conventional heating and high frequency microwave (MW) processing. Thirty GHz microwave (MW) processing setup were used to convert the prepared LAGP glass into glass-ceramics and compared with the conventionally crystallized LAGP glass-ceramics that were heat-treated in an electric conventional furnace. The ionic conductivities of the LAGP samples obtained from the two different routes were measured using impedance spectroscopy. These samples were also characterized using XRD and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Microwave processing was successfully used to crystallize LAGP glass into glass-ceramic without the aid of susceptors. The MW treated sample showed higher total, grains and grain boundary ionic conductivities values, lower activation energy and relatively larger-grained microstructure with less porosity compared to the corresponding conventionally treated sample at the same optimized heat-treatment conditions. The enhanced total, grains and grain boundary ionic conductivities values along with the reduced activation energy that were observed in the MW treated sample was considered as an experimental evidence for the existence of the microwave effect in LAGP crystallization process. MW processing is a promising candidate technology for the production of solid-state electrolytes for Li-ion battery.

Keywords: LAGP; Li-ion batteries; crystallization; ionic conductivity; microwaves; solid-state electrolyte.