Therefore, new Li isotope separation technique using a Li ionic superconductor functioning as a Li isotope separation membrane (LISM) have been developed . Li ions move by electrodialysis through LISM between the cathode and the anode in lithium solutions. Because the mobility of 6Li ions is higher than that of 7Li ions, 6Li can be enriched on the cathode side of a cell.
It has been reported that the difference in the mobility between 6Li and 7Li become large in ionic superconductor. The isotope effect in ionic superconductor is expected to be applicable to isotope separation membrane. In this research, we numerically investigated the ionic mobility of Li isotopes in ionic superconductor. Combing the first principle and the kinetics Monte Calro simulation, we calculate the diffusion constant of 6Li and 7Li. I show the two important effects for the difference in the mobility between isotope of Li. The first is the quantum effect, which decrease the diffusion barrier for Li ion and increase the ratio of the diffusion constant of Li isotopes. The second is the correlation effect between 6Li, 7Li and vacancy.
Using Li0.29La0.57TiO3 (LLTO) as the Li ionic superconductor was prepared, and the relationship between the 6Li separation coefficient and the electrodialysis time was investigated. After electrodialysis, we obtained a maximum of 1.04 for the 6Li isotope separation coefficient. This result showed that the 6Li isotope separation coefficient of this method is the same as that of the amalgamation process using mercury (1.06). Thus, this method has the potential to be a superior 6Li enrichment method to produce 90% enriched tritium breeder for fusion reactors.