We report the in-plane electron transport in the MXenes (i.e., within the MXene layers) as a function of composition using the density-functional tight-binding method, in conjunction with the non-equilibrium Green’s functions technique. Our study reveals that all MXene compositions have a linear relationship between current and voltage at lower potentials, indicating their metallic character. However, the magnitude of the current at a given voltage (conductivity) has different trends among different compositions. For example, MXenes without any surface terminations (Ti3C2) exhibit higher conductivity compared to MXenes with surface functionalization. Among the MXenes with –O and –OH termination, those with –O surface termination have lower conductivity than the ones with –OH surface terminations. Interestingly, conductivity changes with the ratio of –O and –OH on the MXene surface. Our calculated I–V curves and their conductivities correlate well with transmission functions and the electronic density of states around the Fermi level. The surface composition-dependent conductivity of the MXenes provides a path to tune the in-plane conductivity for enhanced pseudocapacitive performance.
We excluded the –F functional group as it is less common and the DFTB method cannot currently be applied to systems containing Ti–F bonds.