MATERIALS SCIENCE: Electromagnetic interference shielding with 2D transition metal carbides (MXenes)

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Abstract

Materials with good flexibility and high conductivity that can provide electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding with minimal thickness are highly desirable, especially if they can be easily processed into films. Two-dimensional metal carbides and nitrides, known as MXenes, combine metallic conductivity and hydrophilic surfaces. Here, we demonstrate the potential of several MXenes and their polymer composites for EMI shielding. A 45-micrometer-thick Ti3C2Tx film exhibited EMI shielding effectiveness of 92 decibels (>50 decibels for a 2.5-micrometer film), which is the highest among synthetic materials of comparable thickness produced to date. This performance originates from the excellent electrical conductivity of Ti3C2Tx films (4600 Siemens per centimeter) and multiple internal reflections from Ti3C2Tx flakes in free-standing films. The mechanical flexibility and easy coating capability offered by MXenes and their composites enable them to shield surfaces of any shape while providing high EMI shielding efficiency.

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