Selective Etching of MAX Phases to Directly Yield MXene Nanosheets Using Quaternary Ammonium Fluoride Salts

  • mxenes nanosheets
  • safer, improved method for synthesis


Despite MXenes being at the forefront of 2D material research, there is still a scarcity of methods that are effective at synthesizing MXenes, that do not require a separate intercalation step for delaminating MXenes into single and/or few layer nanosheets, and that do not require the use of elevated temperatures and/or hazardous hydrofluoric acid (HF), fluoride salts, or bifluoride salts.


The developed technology employs the use of quaternary ammonium salts in combination with hydrochloric acid (HCl) or water (H2O) as novel, safer, combined etchants/intercalants for MXene synthesis at room temperature. The simultaneous intercalation of large ions during etching enables easier delamination of MXene clay to MXene nanosheets. This synthesis process is safer, as it uses relatively non-hazardous chemicals at room temperature. Furthermore, varying the concentration of the quaternary ammonium salts and HCl etching solution and the etching duration may also influence the functional group distribution on the MXene surface. A schematic of the MXene synthesis process developed in this technology is shown in Figure 1.

Contact Information

Name: Shyamala Rajagopalan


Phone: 979-862-3002