MXene: New Extra Thin Coating that Cleans Up ‘Electromagnetic Pollution’

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Photo Credit: Drexel University

Scientists from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Seoul and Drexel University in the US developed a new material out of MXene that can block electromagnetic waves emitted from electronic devices such as cellphones, microwaves and TVs.

What is MXene?

MXene is a nanomaterial coating that aims to protect devices from electric interference.

It is a class of two-dimensional inorganic compounds, made from titanium and carbon.

MXene ranges from just a couple micrometers (one-thousandth of a millimeter) up to 45 micrometers, which is slightly thinner than a human hair.

Yury Gogotsi, PhD, Distinguished University and Trustee Chair professor in the College of Engineering said:

“To have all these electronic components working without interfering with each other, we need shields that are thin, light and easy to apply to devices of different shapes and sizes.”

Why is the Study Important?

The study published in the journal, ‘Science’ said that electromagnetic noise could potentially have a devastating effect on other gadgets such as cellphones, laptops and tablets, including malfunctions and degradation.

Babak Anasori, PhD, a research assistant professor in the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute, and a co-author of the paper said:

“As technology evolves and electronics become lighter, faster and smaller, their electromagnetic interference increases dramatically.“

“Internal electromagnetic noise coming from different electronic parts can have a serious effect on everyday devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops, leading to malfunctions and overall degradation of the device.”

How Can We Protect Electronic Devices?

Babak Anasori, PhD, said that a thick metal coating made of aluminum or copper is needed to protect devices, although this is not practical due to heaviness.

“In general, adequate shielding can be achieved by using thick metals, however, material consumption and weight leave them at a disadvantage for use in aerospace and telecommunication applications.”

MXene is lightweight and an easy solution to protect gadgets

Researchers develop MXene to block electromagnetic waves emitted from electronic gadgets

Due to MXene being lightweight, the protective coating offers a solution to protect gadgets from electromagnetic interference.

The MXene is two-dimensional in structure and has a high electrical conductivity, reflecting electromagnetic waves upon contact. It is also easy to process and relatively cheap.

Gu Jong-min from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said:

“It is hoped that the developed material can be used not only to block electromagnetic waves but for other various purposes.”

MXene: a Significant Finding

Yury Gogotsi, PhD, Distinguished University, said:

“To have all these electronic components working without interfering with each other, we need shields that are thin, light and easy to apply to devices of different shapes and sizes.”

“We believe MXenes are going to be the next generation of shielding materials for portable, flexible and wearable electronics.”

“This finding is significant since several commercial requirements for an electromagnetic interference shield product are engrained in a single material.”

“MXene displays many of these characteristics, including high shielding effectiveness, low density, small thickness, high flexibility and simple processing. So it is an excellent candidate for use in numerous applications.”