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Title: Thickness-independent capacitance of vertically aligned liquid-crystalline MXenes

The scalable and sustainable manufacture of thick electrode films with high energy and power densities is critical for the large-scale storage of electrochemical energy for application in transportation and stationary electric grids. Two-dimensional nanomaterials have become the predominant choice of electrode material in the pursuit of high energy and power densities owing to their large surface-area-to-volume ratios and lack of solid-state diffusion. However, traditional electrode fabrication methods often lead to restacking of two-dimensional nanomaterials, which limits ion transport in thick films and results in systems in which the electrochemical performance is highly dependent on the thickness of the film. Strategies for facilitating ion transport—such as increasing the interlayer spacing by intercalation or introducing film porosity by designing nanoarchitectures—result in materials with low volumetric energy storage as well as complex and lengthy ion transport paths that impede performance at high charge–discharge rates. Vertical alignment of two-dimensional flakes enables directional ion transport that can lead to thickness-independent electrochemical performances in thick films. However, so far only limited success has been reported, and the mitigation of performance losses remains a major challenge when working with films of two-dimensional nanomaterials with thicknesses that are near to or exceed the industrial standard of 100 micrometres.more » Here we demonstrate electrochemical energy storage that is independent of film thickness for vertically aligned two-dimensional titanium carbide (Ti 3C 2T x), a material from the MXene family (two-dimensional carbides and nitrides of transition metals (M), where X stands for carbon or nitrogen). The vertical alignment was achieved by mechanical shearing of a discotic lamellar liquid-crystal phase of Ti 3C 2T x. The resulting electrode films show excellent performance that is nearly independent of film thickness up to 200 micrometres, which makes them highly attractive for energy storage applications. In conclusion, the self-assembly approach presented here is scalable and can be extended to other systems that involve directional transport, such as catalysis and filtration.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States)
  2. Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States)
  3. Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States); Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States)
  4. Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Northwestern Polytechnical Univ., Xi'an (China)
  5. Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States); Sichuan Univ., Chengdu (China)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature (London)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Nature (London); Journal Volume: 557; Journal Issue: 7705; Journal ID: ISSN 0028-0836
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: