Theory-guided synthesis of a 2D tungsten titanium MXene from a covalently bonded layered carbide for electrocatalysis

18 April 2024, Version 1


Two-dimensional transition metal carbides, nitrides, and carbonitrides, known as MXenes, hold potential in electrocatalytic applications. Tungsten (W) based-MXenes are of particular interest as they are predicted to have low overpotentials in hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). However, incorporating W into the MXene structure has proven difficult due to the calculated instability of its hypothetical MAX precursors. In this study, we present a theory-guided synthesis of a W-containing MXene, W2TiC2Tx, derived from a non-MAX nanolaminated ternary carbide (W,Ti)4C4-y precursor by selective etching of one of the covalently bonded tungsten layers. Our results indicate the importance of W and Ti ordering and the presence of vacancy defects for the successful selective etching of the precursor. We confirm the atomistic out-of-plane ordering of W and Ti using density functional theory, Rietveld refinement, and electron microscopy methods. Additionally, the W-rich basal plane endows W2TiC2Tx MXene with a remarkable HER overpotential (~144 mV at 10 mA/cm2). This study adds a tungsten-containing MXene made from a covalently bonded non-MAX phase opening more ways to synthesize novel 2D materials.


2D materials
hydrogen evolution

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Materials
Additional characterizations and details


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