Crystal Structure and Characterization of La1-xBixMnO3+δ
X-ray diffraction data collected at room temperature confirm that the La1-xBixMnO3+δ solid solutions form in the whole range of the investigated bismuth concentrations independent of the synthesis method. All samples crystallize in a rhombohedral perovskite structure with a trigonal unit cell (S.G. R-3c).
For a detailed microstructural characterization by transmission electron microscopy, the La0.8Bi0.2MnO3.15 composition obtained using the solid-state synthesis was chosen. All obtained diffraction patterns can be indexed in a trigonal unit cell with a=5.5300(1) Å, c=13.382(1) Å. An analysis of systematically absent reflections revealed the presence of two types of crystals. Extinction conditions for the fist type coincide with those obtained from XRD (hkl: -h+k+l=3n; h-hl: h+l=3n, l=2n; hhl: l=3n; 00l: l=6n), indicating two possible space groups: R-3c and R3c. A second type of crystals obeys the same extinction rules except for the 00l reflections for which l=3n and h-hl reflections for which l¹2n, pointing towards the following possible space groups: R3, R-3, R32, R3m, R-3m. The formation of two different types of crystallites with trigonal crystal symmetry has been observed in perovskite systems before and explained by the presence or absence of antiphase octahedral tilting about the  axis of the cubic perovskite sub-lattice. It is worth to mention that the X-ray powder diffraction pattern of this sample displays asymmetric line broadening of peaks, which can point towards the presence of an additional structurally related compound.
A loss of oxygen was observed in the TG curves of La1-xBixMnO3+δ (x=0.0-0.5; Δх=0.1) samples at temperatures >700°С, supporting the previously discussed results. TG/DSC curves of La0.9Bi0.1MnO3+δ are shown in Figure 4. The loss of mass was found to be 0.6%.
The excess of oxygen in La1-xBixMnO3+δ (x=0.0-0.5; Δх=0.1) was determined using redox titration. The value of the oxygen nonstoichiometry (δ) was found to be positive and equal to 0.15 at all concentrations of dopant, which can be explained by the identical oxidation states of La3+ and Bi3+. To determine the concentration of metal atoms in the obtained solid solutions, surfaces and fractures of pellets have been studied using EDS and AAS. The elemental content of 15–20 crystallites of La1-xBixMnO3+δ (x=0.1, 0.2) compositions was studied by EDS analysis inside the scanning electron microscope. It was found to be La0.9(1)Bi0.07(4)Mn0.9(7) and La0.9(8)Bi0.1(6)Mn0.9(6) for x = 0.1 and 0.2, respectively. The obtained results showed a slightly inhomogeneous cation distribution and a lower manganese concentration compared to the nominal value for both the bulk and the surface of the pellets. AAS measurements gave similar results for all synthesized solid solutions, showing the manganese content to be 0.9, and thus indicating that all obtained solid solutions lie in the homogeneity region of lanthanum manganite with a small manganese deficiency. Taking into account the obtained values of manganese deficiency and oxygen nonstoichiometry, the chemical formula of the solid solutions can be rewritten as La1-xBixMn1-yO[(3+(1-y))/2] (where VMn is the average oxidation state of manganese). For example, for the La0.9Bi0.1MnO3+δ compound with δ=0.15 and y=0.1, the average oxidation state of manganese (VMn) will be equal to 3.67. Thus, the ratio of manganese in different oxidation states (Mn4+/Mn3+) in the studied solid solutions is equal to 2, which means that 67% of the manganese cations in these compounds have oxidation state +4. This fact is probably the reason why we observe the formation of solid solutions with a rhombohedrally distorted perovskite structure already at room temperature.
A study of the chemical compatibility between La1-xBixMnO3+δ (x=0.0-0.5; Δх=0.1) solid solutions and bismuth-containing electrolytes shows that depending on the chemical nature of the electrolyte material, the formation of additional phases begins at different temperatures: at T³700°С for the studied niobate, at T³600°С for the studied vanadate and at T³500°С for the studied molybdate.
The work was financially supported by Russian Fund of Fundamental Research, grant 14-03-92605.