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Local structural analysis by using atomic pair distribution function on mixed valence compound LiMn$$_2$$O$$_4$$

Kodama, Katsuaki  ; Igawa, Naoki ; Shamoto, Shinichi  ; Ikeda, Kazutaka*; Oshita, Hidetoshi*; Kaneko, Naokatsu*; Otomo, Toshiya*; Suzuya, Kentaro; Hoshikawa, Akinori*; Ishigaki, Toru*

LiMn$$_2$$O$$_4$$ has a cubic spinel structure with a single Mn site whose valence is +3.5. Below about 260 K, the compound exhibits a charge ordering and has inequivalent Mn sites with valences of +3 and +4. However, even in the cubic phase without the charge ordering, temperature dependence of the electrical conductivity is non-metallic. We have performed PDF (atomic pair distribution function) analysis on powder neutron diffraction data of LiMn$$_2$$O$$_4$$ obtained above 300 K where the compound has cubic structure. The local structure determined by PDF analysis has an orthorhombic lattice distortion and includes the inequivalent Mn sites with valences of +3 and +4 up to, at least, about 450 K. These results indicate that valence electrons are localized at Mn sites with short range periodicity, resulting in the non-metallic electrical conductivity. It can be regarded as a glass state of valence electrons whereas a charge ordering can be regarded as a crystallization of valence electrons.

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