© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA). Al-substituted Li7La3Zr2O12 samples processed under argon show enhanced Li-ion transport and interfacial properties in symmetrical cells with lithium electrodes, compared to those prepared in air. In particular, the samples prepared under argon have higher ionic conductivities and lower interfacial impedances in symmetrical lithium cells, and show better DC cycling characteristics. The electronic conductivities are also somewhat higher. Pellets subjected to thermal treatment under the two types of atmospheres have different colors but exhibit similar microstructures. X-ray diffraction experiments suggest that there are slight structural differences between the two types of samples, but few dissimilarities were observed in elemental composition, distribution of ions, oxidation states, or bond lengths using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and extended x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS) to analyze the materials. Additionally, there was no evidence that La or Zr were reduced during the processing under Ar. Possible explanations for the improved electrochemical properties of the sample prepared under Ar compared to the one prepared in air include differences in grain boundary chemistries and conductivities and/or a small concentration of oxygen vacancies in the former.