Exploring the possibilities of two-dimensional transition metal carbides as anode materials for sodium batteries†
Recently a group of two-dimensional materials called MXenes have been discovered and they have demonstrated their potential in Li rechargeable batteries. Herein, the Na storage and ion migration properties of M2C-type MXenes (M = Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Nb, Mo) were investigated using density functional theory (DFT) calculations, and were compared to the Li case. Based on the average voltage and migration barrier of surface ions, we suggest that M = Ti, V, Cr, Mn, and Mo are suitable for sodium ion battery (SIB) anodes. These screened M2C materials can provide a theoretical capacity of 190–288 mA h g−1 by accommodating two alkali ions per formula unit. They also exhibit an activation barrier of 0.1–0.2 eV for ionic motion, suggesting that the M2C materials are promising for high-power applications. The underlying aspects of the voltage differences between M2C materials are also discussed using electrostatic considerations.