Expanding the Ambient-Pressure Phase Space of CaFe2O4-Type Sodium Postspinel Host-Guest Compounds

Justin C. Hancock, Kent J. Griffith, Yunyeong Choi, Christopher J. Bartel, Saul H. Lapidus, John T. Vaughey, Gerbrand Ceder, Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


CaFe2O4-type sodium postspinels (Na-CFs), with Na+ occupying tunnel sites, are of interest as prospective battery electrodes. While many compounds of this structure type require high-pressure synthesis, several compounds are known to form at ambient pressure. Here we report a large expansion of the known Na-CF phase space at ambient pressure, having successfully synthesized NaCrTiO4, NaRhTiO4, NaCrSnO4, NaInSnO4, NaMg0.5Ti1.5O4, NaFe0.5Ti1.5O4, NaMg0.5Sn1.5O4, NaMn0.5Sn1.5O4, NaFe0.5Sn1.5O4, NaCo0.5Sn1.5O4, NaNi0.5Sn1.5O4, NaCu0.5Sn1.5O4, NaZn0.5Sn1.5O4, NaCd0.5Sn1.5O4, NaSc1.5Sb0.5O4, Na1.16In1.18Sb0.66O4, and several solid solutions. In contrast to earlier reports, even cations that are strongly Jahn-Teller active (e.g., Mn3+ and Cu2+) can form Na-CFs at ambient pressure when combined with Sn4+ rather than with the smaller Ti4+. Order and disorder are probed at the average and local length-scales with synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Strong ordering of framework cations between the two framework sites is not observed, except in the case of Na1.16In1.18Sb0.66O4. This compound is the first example of an Na-CF that contains Na+ in both the tunnel and framework sites, reminiscent of Li-rich spinels. Trends in the thermodynamic stability of the new compounds are explained on the basis of crystal-chemistry and density functional theory (DFT). Further DFT calculations examine the relative stability of the CF versus spinel structures at various degrees of sodium extraction in the context of electrochemical battery reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-22
Number of pages15
JournalACS Organic and Inorganic Au
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2 2022


  • calcium ferrite
  • complex oxides
  • energy storage
  • postspinel
  • tunnel structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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