MXene and Polymer Composite Materials

The Drexel Nanomaterials Institute (DNI) specializes in the study of MXene processing and polymer compositing. Polymers are incorporated into a multitude of products and applications; however, they usually have low strength and modulus. MXene proves to drastically increase these important mechanical properties. In first principles calculations, MXene compositing has been identified as a promising candidate to improve the mechanical properties of many popular polymers. Additionally, MXene has been identified as having the highest modulus (330 GPa) of any solution-processed 2D material, making MXene a prime candidate for compositing. Researchers at Drexel are working to develop MXene into an ideal compositing component. 

MXene has proven very beneficial for a wide variety of applications, including energy storage, EMI shielding, and sensors. Research efforts at Drexel work to discover MXene’s exciting mechanical properties and create composites that capitalize on these properties. 

Lipatov, A., Lu, H., Alhabeb, M., Anasori, B., Gruverman, A., Gogotsi, Y., Sinitskii, A., Elastic properties of 2D Ti3C2Tx MXene monolayers and bilayers, Science Advances 2018, 4, eaat0491. 

Future technologies will rely heavily on composite materials, ranging from the aerospace industry to wearable electronics. By combining two or more materials with distinctly different properties, composites allow us to design new systems and take advantage of unique properties otherwise unachievable with either starting materials. As a result, composites can be engineered for multifunctional use with properties such as low-weight, high mechanically strength, high electrically conductivity, and even heat resistance. Moreover, research of composites which incorporate micro- and nanometer sized materials have gained much attention due to unique characteristics that can be achieved at a small scale and with less material. 

Polymer composite systems provide low-cost manufacturing, low weight, easy processing, and chemical resistance.  Furthermore, when combined with nanomaterials, additional unique properties can be achieved. Two-dimensional nanomaterials, such as transition metal carbides and/or nitrides (MXenes), are ideal candidates due to their high electrical conductivity, robustness, and thermal stability [1]. To achieve MXene/polymer composites with full multifunctional capabilities, composites research in DNI focuses on controlling the interface between MXene and the polymer to improve the bonding between the two dissimilar materials. Additionally, maximizing MXene distribution within the polymer composite while maintaining large flake size are important factors during composite optimization. 

Ling, Z., Ren, C.E., Zhao, M.Q., Yang, J., Giammarco, J.M., Qiu, J., Barsoum, M.W. and Gogotsi, Y. Flexible and conductive MXene films and nanocomposites with high capacitance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2014, 111 (47), 16676-16681. 

Hatter, C.B., Shah, J., Anasori, B. and Gogotsi, Y. Micromechanical response of two-dimensional transition metal carbonitride (MXene) reinforced epoxy composites. Composites Part B: Engineering 2020, 182, 10 


Leading group members: Adam Goad, Lingyi Bi, Alex Inman