Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal carbides, carbonitrides and nitrides (MXenes) were discovered in 2011. Since the original discovery, more than 20 different compositions have been synthesized by the selective etching of MAX phase and other precursors and many more theoretically predicted. They offer a variety of different properties, making the family promising candidates in a wide range of applications, such as energy storage, electromagnetic interference shielding, water purification, electrocatalysis and medicine. These solution-processable materials have the potential to be highly scalable, deposited by spin, spray or dip coating, painted or printed, or fabricated in a variety of ways. Due to this promise, the amount of research on MXenes has been increasing, and methods of synthesis and processing are expanding quickly. The fast evolution of the material can also be noticed in the wide range of synthesis and processing protocols that determine the yield of delamination, as well as the quality of the 2D flakes produced. Here we describe the experimental methods and best practices we use to synthesize the most studied MXene, titanium carbide (Ti3C2Tx), using different etchants and delamination methods. We also explain effects of synthesis parameters on the size and quality of Ti3C2Tx and suggest the optimal processes for the desired application.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: M.A. and synthesis of MXenes were supported by the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST) Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences. K.M. was supported by the Leading Foreign Research Institute Recruitment Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) via the NNFC-KAIST-Drexel Nano Co-Op Center (NRF- 2015K1A4A3047100). B.A. and Y.G. were supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology under the KAUST-Drexel University Competitive Research Grant. XRD and SEM analysis were performed at the Centralized Research Facilities (CRF) at Drexel University.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.