Functionalized Hf3C2 and Zr3C2 MXenes for suppression of shuttle effect to enhance the performance of sodium–sulfur batteries

Saba Khan, Narender Kumar, Tanveer Hussain, Nacir Tit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Sodium-sulfur batteries show great potential for storing large amounts of energy due to their ability to undergo a double electron-redox process, as well as the plentiful abundance of sodium and sulfur resources. However, the shuttle effect caused by intermediate sodium polysulfides (Na2Sn) limits their performance and lifespan. To address this issue, here we propose using Hf3C2T2 and Zr3C2T2 (T = F, O), two functionalized MXenes, as cathode additives to suppress the shuttle effect. By using density-functional theory calculations, we investigate nature of the interactions between Na2Sn and MXene, such as the strength of adsorption energy, the electronic density of states, the charge exchange, and the dissociation energy of the Na2S molecule. Our findings show that both Hf3C2T2 and Zr3C2T2 systems inhibit the shuttle effect by binding to Na2Sn with a binding energy stronger than the commonly used electrolyte solvents. These MXenes retain their metallicity during this process and the decomposition barrier for Na2Sn on the oxygen-functionalized MXenes gets reduced which enhances the electrochemical process. Among the MXene systems studied, Zr3C2O2 shows the best performance in suppressing the shuttle effect and catalyzing the electrochemistry process and, thus, increasing the battery's reversible capacity and lifespan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number233298
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2023


  • 31.15.E-
  • 68.43.-h
  • 68.43.Mn
  • 68.47.Fg
  • 71.15.Nc
  • 73.20.At
  • 81.05.ue
  • Chemisorption/physisorption: Adsorbates on surfaces
  • DFT
  • Energy storage
  • MXenes
  • Sodium-sulfur batteries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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