Energy Storage: Hydrogen and Electrochemistry

Since their discovery, MXenes have shown promising properties for energy storage. In our group, we use different MXene compositions as electrodes and other components in different electrochemical systems such as supercapacitors and batteries. This work aims to understand the electrochemical and charge storage behavior of MXenes in various electrolytes, including aqueous, water-in-salt, and organic electrolytes. Our goal is to gain a deep understanding of the pseudocapacitive and intercalation properties of MXenes in these systems and optimize and design electrode architectures for fast charge storage systems. In addition to electrochemical energy storage, our lab investigates the use of MXenes in hydrogen energy storage.

  1. MXenes in batteries: MXenes are explored additions to batteries because of their wide-ranging applications in energy storage and affordability. Current experiments include using MXenes in sulfur cathodes for metal-sulfur batteries, which already shows promise for its high density, affordability, and environmental sustainability, with MXenes aiding conductivity and polarity within cathodes. Our current focus is to investigate the chemical interactions between MXenes and intermediate polysulfides, exploring various MXene compositions, and assessing their impact on electrochemical performance. MXenes are also being explored as passive components in more affordable and easily producible batteries. Our current goal is to study the performance of MXenes as various passive components in batteries to squeeze out more energy density and prolong cycle life. Further work focuses on the use of MXenes in solid-state Li batteries. Research aims to improve the anode/solid electrolyte interface using MXenes.
  2. Electrochemical energy storage properties of MXenes in various electrolytes: Since their discovery in 2011, MXenes have been widely explored for electrochemical energy storage devices such as supercapacitors and batteries. Our group has explored MXene electrochemistry in a wide variety of electrolytes including aqueous (acidic, basic, and neutral), water-in-salt, organic, and ionic liquid electrolytes. More recently we have shown: Water-in-salt electrolytes extend the voltage window of titanium carbide MXenes and introduce a new charge storage mechanism (desolvation-free insertion); non-titanium MXenes show unique, high capacitance charge storage in basic electrolytes; ionic liquids can be pre-intercalated into MXenes for ambipolar, high voltage electrochemical activity; aqueous gel electrolytes and MXene-textile electrodes can be assembled into devices that provide power for real-world devices.
  3. Hydrogen Storage for Energy: MXenes have been predicted to be an ideal hydrogen storage material due to their tunable surface chemistry, potential for Kubas-type interactions, and high material density. We work on tuning the properties of MXenes to optimize their hydrogen storage performance and understand the MXene-hydrogen interaction. Current research includes examining whether synthesis of the Ti3C2 MXene in molten salt can successfully terminate the surface with chlorine allowing for greater hydrogen storage.


1. M.R. Lukatskaya, et al., Nature Energy 2017, 6, 17105 

2. Y. Xia, et al., Nature 2018, 557, 409 

3. X. Wang, et al. Nature Energy 2019, 4, 241 

4. D. Zhang, et al. Nature Energy 2023, 8, 567 

Leading group members: Robert Lord, Asaph Lee, Sevda Saran, Sokhna Dieng, Geetha Valurouthu, Nastya Morozova