Pressure-induced shear and interlayer expansion in Ti3C2 MXene in the presence of water

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Science Advances  12 Jan 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 1, eaao6850
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao6850

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Pseudo-negative compressibility in layered materials is a phenomenon typically limited to in situ high-pressure experiments in some clay minerals and carbon-based materials. We show that the MXene Ti3C2Tx expands along its crystallographic c direction when compressed in the presence of H2O. This expansive effect occurs when a mixture of powders and excess water is quasi-hydrostatically compressed in a diamond anvil cell; it also occurs to a much larger extent when powders are pressed uniaxially into discs and, notably, persists after pressure is released. We attribute the expansion to the insertion of H2O molecules and have identified shear-induced slipping of the nanosheets comprising multilayered MXene particles as a possible cause of this behavior in the latter case. This both has implications for the processing of MXenes and contributes to the field of materials with pseudo-negative compressibility by adding a new member for further investigation.

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