The rich elemental composition, surface chemistry, and outstanding electrical conductivity of MXenes make them a promising class of two-dimensional (2D) materials for electrochemical energy storage. To translate these properties into high performance devices, it is essential to develop fabrication strategies that allow MXenes to be assembled into electrodes with tunable architectures and investigate the effect of their pore structure on the capacitive performance. Here, we report on the fabrication of MXene aerogels with highly ordered lamellar structures by unidirectional freeze-casting of additive-free Ti3C2Tx aqueous suspensions. These structures can be subsequently processed into practical supercapacitor electrode films by pressing or calendering steps. This versatile processing route allows a wide control of film thickness, spacing within lamellae (to give electrolyte accessible sites), and densities (over 2 orders of magnitude) and hence gives control over the final properties. The as-prepared MXene aerogel with a density of 13 mg cm–3 achieves 380 F g–1 capacitance at 2 mV s–1 and 75 F g–1 at 50 mV s–1. The calendering of the MXene aerogel into a porous 60 μm thick film with a density of 434 mg cm–3 leads to a superior rate capability of 309 F g–1 at 50 mV s–1. In addition, the rolled electrodes present an improvement in volumetric capacitance of 104 times as compared to the as-prepared MXene aerogel. Finally, the outstanding cyclability of rolled electrodes strengthens their nomination for supercapacitor applications. In this paper we demonstrate the possibilities in tuning the porosity and the electrochemical properties of aerogels highlighting the importance of evaluating new and hybrid processing methods to develop energy storage applications. The simplicity and versatility of the developed fabrication strategy open opportunities for the utilization of MXene lamellae architectures in a wide range of applications requiring controlled porosity including catalysis, filtration, and water purification.
- energy storage
- supercapacitor electrodes