Li-based olivine phosphates exhibit an enormous potential for applications such as next-generation cathode materials for Lithium-ion batteries and for faster and more reliable data storage devices. A fundamental understanding of this extremely promising class of materials however demands single-crystals which allow to study intrinsic material properties and the interactions between intrinsic electronic and structural properties on the one hand and kinetics, domain effects and electrochemical performance on the other hand. The aim of the proposal is hence to synthesize and to investigate high quality single crystals of these materials for studying (1) anisotropic parameters relevant for applications in Lithium-ion batteries for different crystal directions, and (2) the ferrotoroidicity of the grown crystals for potential applications in data storage. In order to achieve this aim, a unique high-pressure traveling-solvent floating zone furnace will be applied which allows single crystal growth of Li-based systems under external pressure of 150 bar. The outcome will be the growth of hitherto and with conventional methods not accessible high-quality single crystals with large sizes, quantitative information about relevant intrinsic materials parameters such as anisotropic electronic conductivity and Li diffusion, and proper understanding of the ferrotoroidal properties in Li-based olivine phosphates. The main experimental work will be performed at U Heidelberg and ETH Zürich. The project results will yield valuable information for optimizing and tailoring nano- and microstructured Li-ion battery materials as well as on the potential of ferrotoroidicity for data storage, thereby providing an opportunity to European industry in cutting-edge technologies.
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