Capacitive Deionization (CDI) is an alternative method of sustainable desalination technologies. Various types of materials have been developed as electrode materials of CDI to improve desalination performance. Traditional carbon-based materials have limited adsorption capacity (1–10 mg/g) due to the co-ion expulsion effect. And for Faraday materials, the lack of conductive networks causes high energy consumption during the adsorption process. A two-dimensional (2D) material, MXene, is an emerging material with excellent electrochemical performance, which is expected to have energy-efficient salt adsorption performance. However, due to the van der Waals force, MXene nanosheets are easy to have self-stacking which greatly reduces the available adsorption sites. Construction of the 3D structure of MXene composites is an effective way to alleviate the self-stacking, but some of the assembly methods involve external binders/templates that sacrifice the electrical conductivity and electrochemical activity of MXene composites. In this talk, a biomimetic assembly method inspired by the hierarchal scale textures of lizards will be introduced. The electrochemical and desalination performance (33.3 mg/g) of the obtained 3D porous MXene aerogel will be presented. And large-scale fabrication process of the assembly method is also be exhibited to inspire 3D assembly methods of 2D materials.


Dr Meng Ding has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University since spring of 2022. She received her B.E. and Ph.D. degrees from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) with full scholarships provided by Singapore Ministry of Education. After her Ph.D., she joined National University of Singapore to continue her research on 2D materials assembly for energy storage devices and electrochemical water desalination applications. She received SNIC Prof. Lee Soo Ying Young Chemist Silver Award in 2021. Her research focuses on the intersections of nanomaterials assembly, water desalination, and smart soft machines. She seeks to design functional materials and reveal the underlying nanomaterials self-assembly mechanisms. The insights gained from the materials design can be utilized to fabricate high performance water desalination electrodes and smart soft machines.

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