Manchester University scientists have for the first time successfully used MXene-based inks to 3D print interdigitated electrodes.
According to the scientists, these 2D material inks could used in energy storage devices such as supercapacitors.
Though not as famous as its 2D material counterpart Graphene, the clay-like MXene possesses high electrical conductivity upon drying and is hydrophilic, which makes it suitable for aqueous suspensions and inks.
“We’ve demonstrated that large MXene flakes spanning a few atoms thick, and water can be independently used to formulate inks with very specific viscoelastic behavior for printing. These inks can be directly 3D printed into freestanding architectures over 20 layers tall,” notes team lead Dr Suelen Barg.
“Due to the excellent electrical conductivity of MXene, we can employ our inks to directly 3D print current collector-free supercapacitors.”
“The unique rheological properties combined with the sustainability of the approach open many opportunities to explore, especially in energy storage and applications requiring the functional properties of 2D MXene in customized 3D architectures.”
According to the scientists, the performance and application of these devices increasingly rely on the development and scalable manufacturing of innovative materials in order to enhance their performance.
Supercapacitors are devices that are able to produce massive amounts of power while using much less energy than conventional devices.
This is why scientists have been exploring the use of 2D materials in these types of devices due to their excellent conductivity and lightweight properties.
Such 2D material-based devices hold much promise for the automotive industry – such as in electric cars, as well as for mobile phones and other electronics.