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Low dimensional nanostructures of fast ion conducting lithium nitride

Tapia-Ruiz, Nuria; Gordon, Alexandra G.; Jewell, Catherine M.; Edwards, Hannah K.; Dunnill, Charles W.; Blackman, James M.; Snape, Colin P.; Brown, Paul D.; MacLaren, Ian; Baldoni, Matteo; Besley, Elena; Titman, Jeremy J.; Gregory, Duncan H.


Nuria Tapia-Ruiz

Alexandra G. Gordon

Catherine M. Jewell

Hannah K. Edwards

Charles W. Dunnill

James M. Blackman

Professor of Chemical Technology & Chemical Eng

Professor of Materials Characterisation

Ian MacLaren

Matteo Baldoni

Professor of Theoretical Computational Chemistry

Duncan H. Gregory


As the only stable binary compound formed between an alkali metal and nitrogen, lithium nitride possesses remarkable properties and is a model material for energy applications involving the transport of lithium ions. Following a materials design principle drawn from broad structural analogies to hexagonal graphene and boron nitride, we demonstrate that such low dimensional structures can also be formed from an s-block element and nitrogen. Both one- and two-dimensional nanostructures of lithium nitride, Li3N, can be grown despite the absence of an equivalent van der Waals gap. Lithium-ion diffusion is enhanced compared to the bulk compound, yielding materials with exceptional ionic mobility. Li3N demonstrates the conceptual assembly of ionic inorganic nanostructures from monolayers without the requirement of a van der Waals gap. Computational studies reveal an electronic structure mediated by the number of Li-N layers, with a transition from a bulk narrow-bandgap semiconductor to a metal at the nanoscale.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 8, 2020
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Article Number 4492
APA6 Citation Tapia-Ruiz, N., Gordon, A. G., Jewell, C. M., Edwards, H. K., Dunnill, C. W., Blackman, J. M., …Gregory, D. H. (2020). Low dimensional nanostructures of fast ion conducting lithium nitride. Nature Communications, 11,
Keywords General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; General Physics and Astronomy; General Chemistry
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