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Title: Functionalization of MXene nanosheets for polystyrene towards high thermal stability and flame retardant properties
Authors: Si, JY
Tawiah, B 
Sun, WL
Lin, B
Wang, C
Yuen, ACY 
Yu, B
Li, A
Yang, W
Lu, HD
Chan, QN
Yeoh, GH
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Polymers, 2019, v. 11, no. 6, 976
Abstract: Fabricating high-performance MXene-based polymer nanocomposites is a huge challenge because of the poor dispersion and interfacial interaction of MXene nanosheets in the polymer matrix. To address the issue, MXene nanosheets were successfully exfoliated and subsequently modified by long-chain cationic agents with different chain lengths, i.e., decyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB), octadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (OTAB), and dihexadecyldimethylammonium bromide (DDAB). With the long-chain groups on their surface, modified Ti3C2 (MXene) nanosheets were well dispersed in N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), resulting in the formation of uniform dispersion and strong interfacial adhesion within a polystyrene (PS) matrix. The thermal stability properties of cationic modified Ti3C2/PS nanocomposites were improved considerably with the temperatures at 5% weight loss increasing by 20 °C for DTAB-Ti3C2/PS, 25 °C for OTAB-Ti3C2/PS and 23 °C for DDAB-Ti3C2/PS, respectively. The modified MXene nanosheets also enhanced the flame-retardant properties of PS. Compared to neat PS, the peak heat release rate (PHRR) was reduced by approximately 26.4%, 21.5% and 20.8% for PS/OTAB-Ti3C2, PS/DDAB-Ti3C2 and PS/DTAB-Ti3C2, respectively. Significant reductions in CO and CO2 productions were also obtained in the cone calorimeter test and generally lower pyrolysis volatile products were recorded by PS/OTAB-Ti3C2 compared to pristine PS. These property enhancements of PS nanocomposites are attributed to the superior dispersion, catalytic and barrier effects of Ti3C2 nanosheets.
Keywords: Flame retardant
Thermal stability
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Journal: Polymers 
ISSN: 2073-4360
DOI: 10.3390/polym11060976
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
The following publication Si J-Y, Tawiah B, Sun W-L, Lin B, Wang C, Yuen ACY, Yu B, Li A, Yang W, Lu H-D, Chan QN, Yeoh GH. Functionalization of MXene Nanosheets for Polystyrene towards High Thermal Stability and Flame Retardant Properties. Polymers. 2019; 11(6):976 is available at
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