Effect of Metal Ion Intercalation on the Structure of MXene and Water Dynamics on its Internal Surfaces
by Naresh C. Osti, Michael Naguib, Alireza Ostadhossein, Yu Xie, Paul R. C. Kent, Boris Dyatkin, Gernot Rother, William T. Heller, Adri C. T. van Duin, Yury Gogotsi, Eugene Mamontov
MXenes are a recently discovered class of 2D materials with an excellent potential for energy storage applications. Because MXene surfaces are hydrophilic and attractive interaction forces between the layers are relatively weak, water molecules can spontaneously intercalate at ambient humidity and significantly influence the key properties of this 2D material. Using complementary X-ray and neutron scattering techniques, we demonstrate that intercalation with potassium cations significantly improves structural homogeneity and water stability in MXenes. In agreement with molecular dynamics simulations, intercalated potassium ions reduce the water self-diffusion coefficient by 2 orders of magnitude, suggesting greater stability of hydrated MXene against changing environmental conditions.