Synthesis of high quality 2D carbide MXene flakes using a highly purified MAX precursor for ink applications†
The practical application of 2D MXenes in electronic and energy fields has been hindered by the severe variation in the quality of MXene products depending on the parent MAX phases, manufacturing techniques, and preparation parameters. In particular, their synthesis has been impeded by the lack of studies reporting the synthesis of high-quality parent MAX phases. In addition, controllable and uniform deposition of 2D MXenes on various large-scale substrates is urgently required to use them practically. Herein, a method of pelletizing raw materials could synthesize a stoichiometric Ti3AlC2 MAX phase with high yield and processability, and fewer impurities. The Ti3AlC2 could be exfoliated into 1–2-atom-thick 2D Ti3C2Tx flakes, and their applicability was confirmed by the deposition and additional alignment of the 2D flakes with tunable thickness and electrical properties. Moreover, a practical MXene ink was fabricated with rheological characterization. MXene ink exhibited much better thickness uniformity while retaining excellent electrical performances (e.g., sheet resistance, electromagnetic interference shielding ability) as those of a film produced by vacuum filtration. The direct functional integration of MXenes on various substrates is expected to initiate new and unexpected MXene-based applications.