Water Transport and Thermomechanical Properties of Ti3C2T z MXene Epoxy Nanocomposites

Michael S. Carey, Maxim Sokol, Giuseppe R. Palmese, Michel W. Barsoum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Herein, we present the fabrication of dispersed, 5.0 wt % (1.74 vol %) Ti3C2Tz MXene epoxy nanocomposites (NCs), and report on their water transport and mechanical properties. To make the composites, Li+ ions between Ti3C2Tz MXene multilayers, MLs, present after the etching step were exchanged with either 12-aminolauric acid, ALA, or di(hydrogenated tallow)benzyl methyl ammonium chloride, DHT. After drying, the resulting ML powders were added at room temperature to the epoxy resin (diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A), followed by the curing agent, triethylenetetramine. The NCs were characterized by X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, dynamic vapor sorption, dynamic mechanical analysis, scanning and transmission electron microscopies, and infrared spectroscopy. From XRD, the lack of signature MXene basal peaks, as well as evidence of exfoliation supported by TEM micrographs, we conclude that the MXene ML had indeed been intercalated by the epoxy. The distribution of the exfoliated multilayers, MLs, however, was not uniform. Nevertheless, our relative permeabilities, with a 1.74 vol % loading, are 5 times lower than results obtained in the carbon- or clay-reinforced epoxy NC literature. The lower permeabilities are due to reductions in both solubilities and diffusivities relative to the neat polymer. In the case of DHT, the water solubility at all temperatures was almost halved. The mechanical properties and thermal stability are found to be slightly improved with the addition of DHT-MXene. As far as we are aware, this is the first report of exfoliation of MXene in an epoxy matrix. Additionally, this study is the first to measure the diffusion of water in MXene epoxy NCs. More work on better dispersion of the MLs is indicated and ongoing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39143-39149
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number42
StatePublished - 23 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Science FoundationDMR-1740795, 1740795


    • MXene
    • barrier properties
    • epoxy
    • nanocomposite
    • polymer


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