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Lithium chromium pyrophosphate (LiCrP2O7) and carbon-coated LiCrP2O7 (LiCrP2O7/C) were synthesized by solid-state and sol–gel routes, respectively. The materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and conductivity measurements. LiCrP2O7 powder has a conductivity of ∼ 10−8 S cm−1, ∼ 104 times smaller than LiCrP2O7/C (∼ 10−4 S cm−1). LiCrP2O7/C is electrochemically active, mainly between 1.8 and 2.2 V versus Li+/Li (Cr3+/Cr2+ redox couple), whereas LiCrP2O7 has limited electrochemical activity. LiCrP2O7/C delivers a reversible specific charge up to ∼ 105 mAh g−1 after 100 cycles, close to the theoretical limit of 115 mAh g−1. Operando XRD experiments show slight peak shifts between 2.2 and 4.8 V versus Li+/Li, and a reversible amorphization between 1.8 and 2.2 V versus Li+/Li, suggesting an insertion reaction mechanism.

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