About three years ago, Dr. Michel W. Barsoum and Dr. Yury Gogotsi, professors in Drexel's College of Engineering, discovered atomically thin, two-dimensional materials -similar to graphene- that have good electrical conductivity and a surface that is hydrophilic, or can hold liquids.
This is an SEM of layered MXene along with added illustration of intercalated ions between layers.
Credit: (c)Science, original image credit: M. Lukatskaya, Y. Dall'Agnese, E. Ren, Y. Gogotsi
They named these new materials "MXenes," which hearkens to their genesis through the process of etching and exfoliating atomically thin layers of aluminum from layered carbide "MAX phases." The latter also discovered at Drexel about 15 years ago by Barsoum
Since then, the pair, and their team of materials scientists, have forged ahead in exploring the potential uses of MXenes. Their latest findings are reported in the Sept. 27 issue of Science. In their piece entitled "Cation Intercalation and High Volumetric Capacitance of Two-dimensional Titanium Carbide," Gogotsi and Barsoum along with Drexel researchers Maria Lukatskaya, Olha Mashtalir, Chang Ren, Yohan Dall'Angese and Michael Naugib and Patrick Rozier, Pierre Louis Taberna and Dr. Patrice Simon from Université Paul Sabatier in France, explain how MXenes can accommodate various ions and molecules between their layers by a process known as intercalation.
Intercalation is sometimes a necessary step in order to exploit the unique properties of two-dimensional materials. For example, placing lithium ions between the MXene sheets makes them good candidates for use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries. The fact that MXenes can accommodate ions and molecules in this way is significant because it expands their ability to store energy.
"Currently, eight MXenes have been reported by our team, but there are likely many more that will be discovered - the MXene-and-ion combinations that have been tested to date are by no means an exhaustive demonstration of the material's energy storage capabilities," said Gogotsi, who is also director of the A.J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute. "So even the impressive capacitances that we are seeing here are probably not the highest possible values to be achieved using MXenes. Intercalation of magnesium and aluminum ions that we observed may also pave the way to development of new kinds of metal ion batteries."
Barsoum and Gogotsi's report looks at intercalation of MXenes with a variety of ions, including lithium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, ammonium and aluminum ions. The resulting materials show high energy storage capacities and present another avenue of research in this branch of materials science.
"Two-dimensional, titanium carbide MXene electrodes show excellent volumetric super capacitance of up to 350 F/cm3 due to intercalation of cations between its layers," Barsoum said. "This capacity is significantly higher than what is currently possible with porous carbon electrodes. In other words, we can now store more energy in smaller volumes, an important consideration as mobile devices get smaller and require more energy"
The researchers also reported on using MXene "paper" electrodes, instead of conventional rolled powder electrodes with a polymer binder. The flexibility of this paper suggests MXenes may also be useful in flexible and wearable energy storage devices, which is another major area of ongoing research at Drexel in collaboration with Professor Genevieve Dion's Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory.
Britt Faulstick | EurekAlert!
Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy