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This invention provides an inorganic material for use as a solid electrolyte in lithium-based batteries. A solid-state material comprised of a sulfide compound that does not deviate substantially from a formula of Li9S3N serves as a coating for the barrier between an anode layer and an electrolyte layer in an electrochemical cell. Additionally, this lithium-conductive material can be present in the cathode layer, the electrolyte layer, or both. The sulfide material, which has a conductivity of at least 1.0x10-7 S/cm at 25ºC, serves to protect the electrolyte from degradation due to contact with a lithium metal anode.