Lithium lanthanum tantalate (Li3xLa1/3−xTaO3, x = 0.075) thin films were grown via pulsed laser deposition using background gas atmospheres with varying partial pressures of oxygen and argon. The background gas composition was varied from 100% to 6.6% oxygen, with the pressure fixed at 150 mTorr. The maximum ion conductivity of 1.5 × 10−6 S/cm was found for the film deposited in 100% oxygen. The ion conductivity of the films was found to decrease with reduced oxygen content from 100% to 16.6% O2 in the background gas. The 6.6% oxygen background condition produced ion conductivity that approached that of the 100% oxygen condition film. The lithium transfer from the target to the film was found to decrease monotonically with decreasing oxygen content in the background gas but did not account for all changes in the ion conductivity. The activation energy of ion conduction was measured and found to correlate well with the measured ion conductivity trends. Analysis of x-ray diffraction results revealed that the films also exhibited a change in the lattice parameter that directly correlated with the ion conduction activation energy, indicating that a primary factor for determining the conductivity of these films is the changing size of the ion conduction bottleneck, which controls the activation energy of ion conduction.

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See supplementary material online for calculations of the mean free path of each constituent atom.

Supplementary Material

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