3D Printing of MXene Electrode Architectures for Energy Storage Devices

  • Michael Greaves

Student thesis: Phd


As a class of 2D nanomaterials, MXenes (and specifically Ti₃C₂Tₓ MXene) have received great interest as both a rheological additive and a multifunctional binder/conductive additive for high performance electrodes. This thesis explores the work that has been done in these areas since the discovery of MXenes in 2011, and then aims to build upon it by finding ways to increase the energy density of 3D printed, MXene-based electrodes for energy storage. Initially, the use of t-butyl alcohol (TBA) solvent is investigated to see whether it can effectively decrease the porosity of freeze dried MXene structures, and thus increase the concentration of active material. TBA is indeed found to change the porous microstructure, leading to what looks like a greater specific surface area, but it also makes structures too delicate for application. Without wanting to sacrifice the mechanical strength of freeze dried aqueous MXene, the final chapters of this work turn away from increasing the volumetric loading of MXene itself, and instead focus on the use of MXene to enable the 3D printing of colloidal silicon and sulfur. Silicon and sulfur are both very promising Li-ion battery electrode materials, but need conductive, microporous frameworks in order to function. Therefore, this work shows that by a simple mixing and milling process, aqueous Si/MXene and S/MXene composite inks can be produced that are 3D-printable and capable of forming functioning electrodes. A 3D-printable electrode separator is also demonstrated by simply mixing commercial aqueous graphene oxide and sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, enabling a future work to potentially fabricate a 3D-printed full cell.
Date of Award1 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorIan Kinloch (Supervisor), Mark Bissett (Supervisor) & Suelen Barg (Supervisor)


  • Microstructure
  • Porosity
  • Rheology
  • Batteries
  • 3D Printing
  • MXene

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