In LiFePO4, lithium ions diffuse in 1 dimensional channels. It is a relatively economic cathode material, with iron being one of most abundant elements on the earth.
Click and drag the animation to view from different angles
The diffusion channels are 1 dimensional. Lithium ions move by hopping between neighbouring octahedral sites via the intermediate tetrahedral sites which share faces with the two neighbouring octahedra. The animation shows how a lithium ion moves in the channel. In the animation, lithium ion occupies the blue octahedral sites and moves by hopping through the intermediate yellow tetrahedral sites.
It is worth pointing out that though it may look like “channels” in the directions of the other 2 axes, but the energy barrier to diffuse in those directions are much higher, so lithium ions only diffuse in the direction shown in the animation. This is confirmed by Ouyang, 2004.
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