The Korea Institute of Science and Technology announced on Dec. 22 that Koo Jong-min, head of its Materials Architecturing Research Center, and his research team developed a technique for producing oil-based ink to accelerate the commercialization of MXenes, which are a class of two-dimensional inorganic compounds with a high electrical conductivity.
“With this technique, oil-based MXene ink can be produced for direct coating of various substances. By means of the non-metal nanomaterial, it is possible to produce materials blocking electromagnetic waves, and materials can be produced for application to secondary batteries, storage batteries, gas sensors and biosensors,” he said.
The team developed MXenes in 2016. The material’s electrical conductivity is comparable to those of metals and, as such, it can be used for a variety of applications. However, the water solubility of the material hindered coating in product manufacturing processes. In addition, the material had a stability problem as it loses its electrical conductivity by easily reacting with water or oxygen.
In order to solve the problem, the team mixed a solvent with water in which the material is dispersed. The material in the water reacted with the solvent to create the oil-based MXene ink and solve the problem without a purification process. The ink’s water molecule content and oxygen content are low, which means the MXenes are hardly oxidized.
The ink ensuring oxidation stability can be utilized for liquid-phase processes for spray coating, spin coating, inkjet printing, etc. The MXenes ensuring long-term storage can be used for electromagnetic shields, electrode materials, and so on.
At present, drones, self-driving vehicles and smartphones are using more and more semiconductor chips and electronic components. This means a higher probability of malfunction attributable to electromagnetic entanglement. In general, substrates are covered with metal films so that electromagnetic interference can be prevented, but the films are expensive, heavy, and hardly processable. Details of the new technique overcoming the shortcomings are available in the latest edition of the ACS Nano journal.