Unique lead adsorption behavior of activated hydroxyl group in two-dimensional titanium carbide

J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Mar 19;136(11):4113-6. doi: 10.1021/ja500506k. Epub 2014 Mar 10.


The functional groups and site interactions on the surfaces of two-dimensional (2D) layered titanium carbide can be tailored to attain some extraordinary physical properties. Herein a 2D alk-MXene (Ti3C2(OH/ONa)(x)F(2-x)) material, prepared by chemical exfoliation followed by alkalization intercalation, exhibits preferential Pb(II) sorption behavior when competing cations (Ca(II)/Mg(II)) coexisted at high levels. Kinetic tests show that the sorption equilibrium is achieved in as short a time as 120 s. Attractively, the alk-MXene presents efficient Pb(II) uptake performance with the applied sorption capacities of 4500 kg water per alk-MXene, and the effluent Pb(II) contents are below the drinking water standard recommended by the World Health Organization (10 μg/L). Experimental and computational studies suggest that the sorption behavior is related to the hydroxyl groups in activated Ti sites, where Pb(II) ion exchange is facilitated by the formation of a hexagonal potential trap.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Hydroxides / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Surface Properties
  • Titanium / chemistry*


  • Hydroxides
  • titanium carbide
  • hydroxide ion
  • Titanium