MXenes are an emerging class of 2D materials, also known as transition metal carbides and nitrides. They have been shown to offer many potential applications in electronics, energy storage, and other areas thanks to their unique combinations of properties, especially solution processability and high-electrical conductivity that exceeds that of the famous 2D material, graphene. Researchers from the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute led by Professor Yury Gogotsi demonstrate MXenes as an ideal material for calligraphy ink. The hydrophilic (water-loving) surface readily allows dispersity in many solvents, including water, and good adhesion to hydrophilic substrates, such as paper; all binder-free and bleed-free. So far, more than 50 related compositions of MXenes have been created, offering an amazing diversity of properties and colors, forming a family of bleed-free, electrically conductive, colored inks for calligraphy, water-based painting, and more.
Gogotsi’s students have also photographed the MXene calligraphy with an infrared camera, which reveals the infrared cooling effect; multiple applications can be explored based on this property alone. Other than on paper, such effects can also be created on textiles, walls, or even automobiles. Combined with their biocompatibility, low toxicity, and excellent mechanical durability, MXenes have been explored for a wide array of applications. Beyond inks and paints, research into batteries, OLEDs, solar cells, thin-film transistors, biosensors, and brain neural activity recording has also been performed.