Improved synthesis of Ti3C2Tx MXenes resulting in exceptional electrical conductivity, high synthesis yield, and enhanced capacitance†
For the first time, an “Evaporated-Nitrogen” Minimally Intensive Layer Delamination (EN-MILD) synthesis approach is reported to synthesize exceptionally high quality MXene sheets. In the EN-MILD method, the concentrations of acids and Li-ions are continuously increased during the etching process. By implementing the EN-MILD approach, the electrical conductivity increases up to 2.4 × 104 S cm−1, which is the highest reported value to date for Ti3C2Tx MXenes (a traditional MILD approach results in a conductivity of 5.8 × 103 S cm−1). This significant improvement in electrical conductivity arises from the high quality of the synthesized MXene sheets as well as a larger flake size. The EN-MILD synthesis approach also offers high yield of delaminated single MXene layers (up to ∼60% after the first round of washing/centrifugation) and high colloidal concentrations (up to 31 mg ml−1). The working electrode prepared from free-standing MXene paper shows an exceptional capacitance of ≈490 F g−1 at 1 A g−1 in a supercapacitor, which is among the highest values reported for MXene-based supercapacitor electrodes. The exceptional electrical conductivity, high yield of delaminated MXene single layers, and high colloidal concentration of the EN-MILD approach significantly expand the applications of MXenes.