Hollow MXene Spheres and 3D Macroporous MXene Frameworks for Na-Ion Storage

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Journal Article
Advanced Materials, 2017, 29 (37)
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© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim 2D transition metal carbides and nitrides, named MXenes, are attracting increasing attentions and showing competitive performance in energy storage devices including electrochemical capacitors, lithium- and sodium-ion batteries, and lithium–sulfur batteries. However, similar to other 2D materials, MXene nanosheets are inclined to stack together, limiting the device performance. In order to fully utilize MXenes' electrochemical energy storage capability, here, processing of 2D MXene flakes into hollow spheres and 3D architectures via a template method is reported. The MXene hollow spheres are stable and can be easily dispersed in solvents such as water and ethanol, demonstrating their potential applications in environmental and biomedical fields as well. The 3D macroporous MXene films are free-standing, flexible, and highly conductive due to good contacts between spheres and metallic conductivity of MXenes. When used as anodes for sodium-ion storage, these 3D MXene films exhibit much improved performances compared to multilayer MXenes and MXene/carbon nanotube hybrid architectures in terms of capacity, rate capability, and cycling stability. This work demonstrates the importance of MXene electrode architecture on the electrochemical performance and can guide future work on designing high-performance MXene-based materials for energy storage, catalysis, environmental, and biomedical applications.
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