Layered Orthorhombic Nb2O5@Nb4C3Tx and TiO2@Ti3C2Tx Hierarchical Composites for High Performance Li-ion Batteries

Chuanfang (John) Zhang, Seon Joon Kim, Michael Ghidiu, Meng Qiang Zhao, Michel W. Barsoum, Valeria Nicolosi, Yury Gogotsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Engineering electrode nanostructures is critical in developing high-capacity, fast rate-response, and safe Li-ion batteries. This study demonstrates the synthesis of orthorhombic Nb2O5@Nb4C3Tx (or @Nb2CTx) hierarchical composites via a one-step oxidation —in flowing CO2 at 850 °C —of 2D Nb4C3Tx (or Nb2CTx) MXene. The composites possess a layered architecture with orthorhombic Nb2O5 nanoparticles decorated uniformly on the surface of the MXene flakes and interconnected by disordered carbon. The composites have a capacity of 208 mAh g−1 at a rate of 50 mA g−1 (0.25 C) in 1–3 V versus Li+/Li, and retain 94% of the specific capacity with 100% Coulombic efficiency after 400 cycles. The good electrochemical performances could be attributed to three synergistic effects: (1) the high conductivity of the interior, unoxidized Nb4C3Tx layers, (2) the fast rate response and high capacity of the external Nb2O5 nanoparticles, and (3) the electron “bridge” effects of the disordered carbon. This oxidation method was successfully extended to Ti3C2Tx and Nb2CTx MXenes to prepare corresponding composites with similar hierarchical structures. Since this is an early report on producing this structure, there is much room to push the boundaries further and achieve better electrochemical performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4143-4151
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 20 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Electrochemistry
  • Biomaterials


  • Li-ion battery
  • MXene
  • hierarchical
  • niobium pentoxide
  • oxidation
  • structures


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