Variations of BaSnF4 fast ion conductor with the method of preparation and temperature
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Ionic conductors are solids that have a large number of defects and easy pathways that make it possible for ions to move over long distances in an electric field. In order to be mobile an ion must be small and have a low charge. The fluoride ion is the most mobile anion. The highest performance fluoride ion conductors contain divalent tin, and have a highly layered crystal structure related to the CaF2 fluorite type. BaSnF4 has the α-PbSnF4 structure, which is a √2/2 × √2/2 × 2 superstructure of the fluorite type, where the tetragonal unit-cell and the value of the a and b parameters being equal to half the diagonals of the (a,b) face of fluorite are due to the loss of the F Bravais lattice, and the Sn Sn Ba Ba order along the c parameter is at the origin of the doubling of the c parameter. The BaSnF4 material was prepared first by Dénès et al. (C. R. Acad. Paris C, 280: 831, 1975), and its superionic properties were characterized by Dénès et al. (Solid State Ion., 13: 213, 1984). It was found to have a conductivity three orders of magnitude higher than that of BaF2, with an ionic conduction rate τ i > 0.99. No BaSnF4 was obtained by the aqueous medium, when aqueous solutions of SnF2 and Ba(NO3)2 are mixed together; BaSn2F6 was obtained instead. In a new development of this work, BaSnF4 has been obtained by the wet method for the first time. X-ray powder diffraction showed that the BaSnF4 phase obtained by the wet method varies substantially from one sample to another: (a) signification variations of the c parameter of the tetragonal unit-cell reveals that the interlayer distance is sensitive to the leaching conditions, possibly because some of the leached ions remain in the interlayer spacing; (b) large variations of the crystallite dimensions and, as a result of the two-dimensionality of the structure, a strong crystallite dimension anisotropy are observed, with d∥ < d⊥, where d∥ and d⊥ are the crystallite dimensions parallel to the four-fold main axis, and perpendicular to it, respectively, showing that the layers are very thin and the interlayer interactions are very weak. Variable temperature Mössbauer spectroscopy showed an unusual large variation of the quadrupole splitting with temperature. A tentative explanation based on unusually large bond angles has been proposed.
Key wordsionic conductors fluorides tin Mössbauer spectroscopy synthetic methods X-ray diffraction
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